McKenzie Covrig wins ‘Best of Show’ in duck stamp contest
Jul 13, 2014 | 383 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
McKenzie Covrig was named “Best of Show” in Tennessee in Federal Junior Duck Camp competition. From left are  Don King, chief of information and education at Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge; Agape’s instructor Karen Barton; Covrig; Joan Stevens, coordinator of the program; and Barron Crawford, refuge manager at TWRA.
McKenzie Covrig was named “Best of Show” in Tennessee in Federal Junior Duck Camp competition. From left are Don King, chief of information and education at Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge; Agape’s instructor Karen Barton; Covrig; Joan Stevens, coordinator of the program; and Barron Crawford, refuge manager at TWRA.
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All of the Agape Art Academy students – about 50 per year (not including adults) – participate in The Federal Junior Duck Stamp contest, regardless of their beginner or advanced status.

The contest is designed for school-aged children, K-12, to promote conservation. Students choose a species of duck and study it, as well as its habitat. They then create a very realistic drawing based on their knowledge.

The “Best of Show” recipient across the nation wins $5,000, and their drawing is made into $5 postage stamp.

This year, 15-year-old McKenzie Covrig from Georgetown, a four-year student with Agape Art Academy, won Best of Show in Tennessee with her watercolor of a pair of green winged teals.

Along with the honor of winning, she received a $1,500 scholarship, and her drawing will be made into a Tennessee wildlife stamp.

She was honored last month at the annual award ceremony in Nashville. There are 100 awards given away in each state, with 23 percent of Tennessee’s award going to Agape students this year.

The realism displayed in the duck stamp contest is the perfect example of Agape Art Academy’s approach to art.

Agape is a Christian based, eight-year academy that focuses on that realistic approach to drawing and painting. This separates them from other art programs which basically offer craft projects.

Students are taught to carefully observe God’s creation. They are then taught many skills in the different disciplines of drawing and painting, in order to recreate the beauty of God’s creation.

A classical, structured, disciplined approach is used with each lesson building upon the next.

Every year that Agape has entered they have won 20 to 25 percent of the awards in Tennessee.

In the last 10 years, they have won five Best of Show awards, four in Tennessee and one in Georgia.

The success rate is amazing, but it would be nothing if the students were not enjoying themselves. Children want to come back year after year, and parents are very satisfied with the lessons.

People often ask “Are all your students naturally talented?” The answer is no. When students are taught the principles of drawing with a structured, disciplined, classical method, all students learn to draw, whether a child or an adult. Forget the “I can’t draw a straight line” theory.

The academy has a core curriculum or eight-year program for children ages 10 to 19 and a pre-basic for ages 6 to 9. Adults may also take classes.

Agape Art Academy will be a vendor at the 2014 Education Expo & Home School Curriculum Fair held at Camp Jordan, July18 and 19 at Camp Jordan in East Ridge.

School year classes begin in the week of Aug. 11.