2023 Almost Heaven Governor’s Art Exhibition winners announced

CHARLESTON, WV — Gov. Jim Justice, along with the West Virginia Department of Tourism and the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History (WVDACH), today announced the winners of the fifth annual Almost Heaven Governor’s Art Exhibition.

Designed to showcase student creativity and the arts, this year’s exhibition called for one-of-a-kind postcard designs illustrating a favorite West Virginia park (state, city or county). Selected postcard artwork will be used by the Department of Tourism to personally invite travelers to Almost Heaven.

Winners were chosen in three categories – Elementary School, Middle School and High School – and a Best of Show award. 

Elementary School winners are first place, “Simple Gristmill” by Ryan Lilly, Sophia Christian Academy, Raleigh County; second place, “West Virginia Postcard” by Tinley Williams, Ripley Elementary, Jackson County; and third place, “West Virginia Postcard” by Joy Sayre, Ripley Elementary, Jackson County.
Middle School winners are first place, “Blackwater Falls” by Olivia Miller, Andrew Jackson Middle School, Kanawha County; second place, “Seneca State Forest” by Ethan Floyd, Lincoln Middle School, Harrison County; and third place, “Beauty at Hawk’s Nest” by Charlotte Ray Lawson, Lincoln Middle School, Harrison County.
High School winners are first place, “Holly River Beauty” by Emmalea Warden, Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School, Mason County; second place, “Kanawha State Forest” by Rhubarb Ronan, Huntington High School, Cabell County; and third place, “West Virginia’s Backyard” by Jocelyn Baker, Huntington High School, Cabell County. 
The Best of Show was awarded to Olivia Miller’s rendition of “Blackwater Falls.”
Winners will receive Blick Art Materials gift cards in the amounts of $100, $50 and $25.

An exhibition of all selected entries is on display outside the Governor’s Office at the State Capitol in Charleston.