GRACE Students Get Creative

GRACE Upper Campus students Caroline and Lauren Wingerd (and their older sister Emma, who graduated from GRACE in 2016) have always been interested in art. Their parents enjoy creating and building things, so they've been encouraged to express their creativity since they were old enough to hold a crayon. Materials and tools that support creative endeavors abound in their house. General craft supplies, fine art materials, a sewing machine, and a Cricut machine await them in the craft room; a 3D printer and filament stand ready in the office, and bigger equipment like wood and metalworking tools and a Glowforge laser cutter are just steps away in the garage. All they need is inspiration and time to play.


Every year they have been at GRACE, Caroline and Lauren have taken an art elective. Mrs. Boyd and Mrs. Walters have encouraged their interest and provided many opportunities to try new mediums and techniques. When Emma graduated from GRACE, she chose to major in industrial design at Appalachian State University and graduated with her bachelor’s degree in May. She credits Mrs. Walters as someone who made a real impact on her decision to pursue a career as a designer.


When COVID hit last March, the one resource that had been in short supply became readily available: time


While the Wingerd girls were attending classes virtually in the morning, they had more time during the afternoons, evenings, and weekends because all other activities were canceled. 


Caroline and Lauren put the family’s art supplies to good use but also became resourceful. Caroline created a tiny log cabin with a blueberry bucket, cardboard, burlap and fabric scraps, leaves, rocks, and a glue gun. Lauren scavenged through the kitchen and yard for materials that could be converted into "paint" and created an entire series of miniature portraits. Beyond these art-class inspired projects, Caroline designed acrylic earrings and painted a series of mixed media landscapes while Lauren spent hours sketching and drawing.


GRACE provides a variety of opportunities for its students to pursue the arts - from theatre to art to music and beyond. Your gifts to the GRACE Annual Fund allow us to continue to grow and develop these programs. In the past, gifts to the Annual Fund have allowed us to purchase a baby grand piano and microphone system, as well as provide renovations to the Lower Camus music room. Prayerfully consider donating to the GRACE Annual Fund today.

Lauren Wingerd
Lauren Wingerd
Caroline Wingerd
Caroline Wingerd
Emma Wingerd
Emma Wingerd

Fun Facts about Fine Arts at GRACE


Did you know….

Vocal Ensemble & Chorus

GRACE's Vocal Ensembles in grades six through middle and high school have achieved consistent superior ratings at ACSI music festivals, Carowinds and Kings Dominion music festivals, as well as at NC Music Educators' music festivals.

Our Middle and High School ensembles have performed at the NC State Capitol Christmas Open House for more than 20 years, and the High School Vocal Ensemble has performed by invitation at the NC Governor's Mansion Christmas Open House for more than10 years!

Our Elementary Chorus (grades 3-5) has performed at area assisted living facilities for Christmas and Spring for more than 20 years!

GRACE’s High School Vocal Ensemble made its first virtual "grid " performance video in the spring of 2020 during our virtual learning experience.

A number of GRACE students have sung with Mrs. Kaehler from third grade through their senior year in high school (10 years!) and we call them "Lifers!"

The Arts

GRACE Visual Art students have consistently won awards for their outstanding work at

competitions locally, statewide and nationwide including the:

  •  ACSI Art Festival (for the past 5 years, GRACE Upper Campus students have won a total of 22 “Best in Show” awards, 96 Blue Ribbon Superior awards, 86 Red Ribbon Excellent awards, and 18 White Ribbon Good awards)

(and for the past 5 years, GRACE Lower Campus students have won a total of 2 “Best in Show” awards, 24 Blue Ribbon Superior awards, 92 Red Ribbon Excellent awards, and 87 White Ribbon Good awards)

  • ACSI Calendar Competition Southeast Division Winner
  • VAE Student Show Winning Artworks
  • Congressional Art Competition (Consistently placing in the top 50 artworks, including 3 earning display at our state representative’s offices)
  • GFWC Raleigh Art Competition (For the past 5 years, Upper Campus students have won a total of 85 Blue Ribbon 1st place awards, 77 Red Ribbon 2nd place awards, and 60 White Ribbon 3rd place awards)
  • GFWC District VI Art Competition (For the past 5 years, Upper Campus students have won a total of 53 Blue Ribbon 1st place awards, 61 Red Ribbon 2nd place awards, and 14 White Ribbon 3rd place awards)
  • GFWC North Carolina Art Competition (For the past 5 years, Upper Campus students have won a total of 14 Blue Ribbon 1st place awards, 16 Red Ribbon 2nd place awards, and 6 White Ribbon 3rd place awards)
  • North Carolina State Fair (Many awards in various categories throughout the years, including 1st place in the Farm Animal Frenzy school sculpture competition, earning $1500 for GRACE’s art program)
    • In 2019, GRACE Lower Campus students and Upper Campus students who were entered collectively won 7th place in Arts & Photography in both the elementary and middle school divisions, earning $250 for the GRACE Art Department)
  • Crayola Creativity Connects the World Art Exhibition, winning artwork was included in the permanent collection of the U.S. Department of Education
  • NCDOT Aviation Winning Artwork
  • NC Governor’s School highly selective program
  • GRACE student artwork has been included in the NC General Assembly Student Art Exhibit in the Legislative Building in Raleigh

Lower Campus art students have had the opportunity to design program covers for our Grandparents’ Day, Christmas Concert, and Spring Concert programs as part of a school-wide contest.

GRACE student artwork, including collaborative artworks, has raised more than $12,000  in our school auctions over the last five years.

GRACE Visual Art Students have been involved in the local art community through many

different area events, exhibits, and field trips including Artspark, Crabtree Mall art exhibit

North Carolina State Fair, Barnes & Noble art exhibit, State Employees Credit Union art exhibit

Coffee & Crepes art exhibit, Artspace, Cary Arts Center, The Scrap Exchange and the NC Museum of Art.

Over the years, 6th-12th grade GRACE art students have contributed proceeds from the sale of their glazed ceramic bowls at Empty Bowls events to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Since 2013, GRACE art students have raised and contributed more than $10,800 through Empty Bowl to help alleviate hunger in our area.

Art students have also used their talents to create art to benefit others, including t-shirt designs for charity organizations such as the Joey O. Bocce Classic. GRACE has been a part of the Joey O’ Bocce Classic t-shirt design competition that raises funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation since the competition began in 2018. We’ve had finalists in the top 10 designs consistently all three years. In 2018 and 2019, the artworks of GRACE students Everett Quinto and Lena Giuggio won first place, respectively, and became the t-shirt designs for the 400+ t-shirts at the event. 

Visual arts students also participate in the Starlight Gown project to create unique hospital gowns for children. 


GRACE theatre students have performed “Mary Poppins” on the Walt Disney Stage in Orlando Fl. and had the opportunity to take workshops with Disney professionals. Students have performed and studied with Disney's Broadway Magic and Disney's Acting 101 as part of an audition-only program.


Middle and high school have written their own works in partnership with the international Empathy Project, which are shared and performed with other theatre students across the country and world.


Advance Theatre students have studied in MasterClass workshops with the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA).


Each year, the after-school recreational theatre program has a give-back component to each and every performance. In the past five years, this has included a partnership with the President's Commission for Arts and Humanities, which offers after-show discussions on the effects on PTSD, food drives and free performances for the community.