TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) — Tupelo High School competes annually in a scholastic art and writing competition in Memphis, Tennessee, against hundreds of other high schools from the region.
Now, certain pieces of their art are moving on to a national competition.
Three portfolios featuring eight pieces of art work from three seniors and one junior will have their artwork shown digitally at Brooks Museum in Memphis.
From there, the selected artwork will go to New York City where it will be on display at the World Financial Center.
"I got a call, and it was a huge surprise because I entered this competition thinking I really wasn't going to go forward in it, but I did," said Shannon Shepherd, a senior at Tupelo High School. "I'm pretty pumped about it."
"I was actually with my parents when I figured it out," added Casey Marshall, a senior at Tupelo High School. "It was kind of like a family celebration. We were all very excited."
"Feels good to know that all that hard work paid off," said Larkin Hudson, a junior at Tupelo High School. "I get a chance to let my stuff get seen."
The students said having extra motivation from their peers helped them accomplish the honor of having their works of art potentially reach a national audience.
"Mainly, my motivator has been my teacher," said Rachael Holman, a senior at Tupelo High School. "Ms. Garner is very helpful with that. She strives for excellence in everyone, and she pushes you to do all that you can do and more."
The four students that will represent Tupelo High School at the art contest in New York City are guaranteed to win scholarship money to use toward college.
"Anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000," said Anna Garner, an art teacher at Tupelo High School. "So we're really excited about the number of students that won this year."
The students' art teacher added having the opportunity to help the students craft masterpieces is a benefit of creativity and hard work.
"I know how far I can push them, and I know what their level of creativity is," said Garner. "They know my expectations because we get to teach them for multiple years, and so it's very easy to get the best out of your students when they know you very well and you know them very well."
The students' art leaves for Memphis this week where it will be shown and judged before being sent to New York City.