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Harding Fine Arts Academy students sweep top honors in national art contest

Oklahoma City, Mar. 31, 2011 – Harding Fine Arts Academy students took gold, silver and bronze in the graphic design category of the 2011 Brass Ring Awards competition. Now in its 25th year, the contest is sponsored by Oklahoma Christian University’s Art + Design department. This year, the competition attracted over 2,000 entries from 27 high schools and 70 universities from around the U.S.

First place – Sharoya Minnis, senior, Footloose poster

Second place – Cara Belt, senior, Choir poster

Third place – Kaiser Volk, sophomore, Fatal Flame poster

Minnis will join the U.S. Air Force after graduation and plans to pursue a degree in design. Belt has been accepted to both the University of Oklahoma and Boston University and will seek a degree in art communication and graphic design at one of those schools next fall.

“Harding Fine Arts was the only school out of 27 competing nationwide that even placed in the graphic design category,” said HFAA teacher Barry Schmelzenbach. “Because we literally swept the category shows the immense talent of our students and the strength of our arts program.”

HFAA sophomore Caitlin Kenney’s black-and-white photo, Tower, received honorable mention in the photography category.


“As an arts integrated college preparatory school, HFAA strives to prepare and find opportunities for our students to pursue their education well beyond high school, whether academic or artistic in nature,” Schmelzenbach said. “Graphic design is a multi-billion dollar industry, and we have created a unique program to give high school students an advantage when competing for scholarships and in the college classroom when they get there.”


Barry Schmelzenbach, 405-702-4322 

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About HFAA: Harding Fine Arts Academy is an Oklahoma City charter high school that embraces high academic standards as well as a full opportunity for students to experience and develop all aspects of the fine arts and athletics they can enjoy for a lifetime. As the first A+ Arts Integration high school, HFAA integrates the arts into every learning opportunity and strives to achieve very high standards in every aspect of its operation. (www.hardingfinearts.org)

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