Suffolk Sister Cities ‘Peace by Piece’

“Peace by Piece: Food Security in My Community”
Suffolk Sister Cities International
FEBRUARY 28 – MARCH 25, 2023
FREE and OPEN to the Public

Suffolk Sister Cities International is pleased to announce that the 35th Annual Suffolk Sister Cities Young Authors and Artists Showcase will be on display in the main gallery of the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts on February 28 – March 22. An Awards Ceremony will be held at 6:30 – 8PM on Tuesday, February 28, 2023 and is free and open to the public.

Students from Suffolk Public Schools and Nansemond-Suffolk Academy have created 118 Art entries and 81 Authors entries. Artists compete in 5 categories: Drawing, Painting, Photography, Mixed Media and Digital Art.  Authors compete in Essay and Poetry categories. This year there is a new category for Music with 3 entries. All entries interpret this year’s theme of “Peace by Piece: Food Security in My Community”. Works will be judged by experts in the related field. Winners in each category receive a $50 cash award.

Additionally, a ‘Best in Show’ for Art and for Authors is identified, with each receiving a $100 cash award. These winners are eligible to participate in the Sister Cities International Competition where they compete with entries from around the world and United States. There is a $1000 cash prize for winners of the international competition. Suffolk Sister Cities has had several International winners over the years, including last year’s Best in Show artist Rory Rockwood who earned a $1000 award for her Digital Art submission. Special thanks is owed to the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, Suffolk Public Schools, Nansemond Suffolk Academy, and the many teachers, students, judges and volunteers who make this annual Showcase possible.

The Young Artists and Authors Competition is one of several youth programs sponsored by Suffolk Sister Cities International. In past years, the organization has sponsored student exchanges and attendance at the Sister Cities International Youth Leadership Summit. In 2022, students from Kings Fork High School’s International Baccalaureate Program created a Sister Cities Club. Members learn about world cultures and volunteer in the local community. They have created global friendships through various projects, including digital pen pal and environmental projects.

To learn more about Suffolk Sister Cities International and its programs please contact Commissioner Maryanne Persons at 757-539-7188 or visit www.suffolksistercitiesinternational.org.

READ Article in SNH Newspaper
Suffolk Sister Cities International

Sister Cities . . . In The World
The Sister Cities movement was founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on September 11, 1956. His vision was to involve citizens of the world in a grass-roots effort to promote peace through mutual understanding and respect. This initial act of “sistering” led in 1967 to Sister Cities International (SCI), which now unites tens of thousands of citizen diplomats and volunteers in 570 member communities with over 2,300 partnerships in 150 countries on six continents.

Sister Cities . . . In Our City
In 1981, Mayor Andy Damiani and the Suffolk City Council signed our first sister city relationship with the County of Suffolk, England. Our second sister city affiliation, with Oderzo, Italy, began in 1995 because of Amedeo Obici, an immigrant from Oderzo who founded Planters Nut and Chocolate Company and Obici Hospital in Suffolk. Today, Suffolk Sister Cities International (SSCI) consists of Commissioners appointed by City Council, a Board of Directors, Friends of SSC, and Suffolk International Youth Association (SIYA), all of whom oversee the development and implementation of programs, cultural/social events, and exchanges.

The 2023 winner’s for the Suffolk Sister Cities International Young Artists and Young Authors Showcase are:

Best In Show Artist Violet Johnston

Best In Show Artist Violet Johnston, for ‘Our Child is Hungry’, Nansemond Suffolk Academy

Best In Show Author Xavier Wallace

Best In Show Author Xavier Wallace, for essay ‘Food Security Within the Community‘, Kings Fork High School

Artist’s Last Name Artist’s First Name Title of Work School
BEST IN SHOW-ARTIST Johnston Violet Our Child Is Hungry Nansemond Suffolk Academy
HM Walls Alli Hungry for Fruit Nansemond Suffolk Academy
HM Culbert Dylan “Out of Stock” Nansemond Suffolk Academy
HM Oliver Jackson Protected vs Unprotected Nansemond Suffolk Academy
#3 Lepper Camren Money=Luxury Nansemond Suffolk Academy
#2 Gastreich Kylie Fresh Veggies from the Heavens Nansemond River High School
#1 Rabsatt Sanaa I See Nothing Nansemond River High School
HM Blackwell Katelyn Helping Hands Nansemond Suffolk Academy
HM Edwards Meredith Simple Food Disappearance Nansemond Suffolk Academy
HM Joseph Charlie Fenced In Nansemond Suffolk Academy
#3 Bush Ashley “Diamonds Decomposing in the Dirt” Nansemond Suffolk Academy
#2 Davis-Lawrence Cyann Window of Food Nansemond Suffolk Academy
#1 Rose Izzy Wasting Away Nansemond Suffolk Academy
HM Linhardt Kennedy Keep Your Jaws Off Nansemond River High School
HM Hines Cadence Rolling in wheat Nansemond River High School
HM Morgan Caroline The Happiest Meal Nansemond Suffolk Academy
HM Adams Julia The Nurturing Tree Nansemond Suffolk Academy
HM Fox Lily A Year of Unprecedented Hunger Nansemond Suffolk Academy
#3 Johnston Summer The Future Nansemond Suffolk Academy
#2 Wolland Claudia Convenience Culture Nansemond River High School
#1 Petry Lily Running on Empty Nansemond Suffolk Academy
HM Bradshaw Taylor Virginia State With Popular Foods Nansemond Suffolk Academy
HM Blair Madison Food Countries Nansemond Suffolk Academy
HM Byars Vance Giving Food Nansemond Suffolk Academy
HM Sheppard London Starvation Nansemond Suffolk Academy
HM Meeks Paige Food All Around Nansemond Suffolk Academy
#3 Roberts Mary Corn you get me a bag of chips? Nansemond River High School
#2 Kuehl Makenna Food Kitchen Nansemond Suffolk Academy
#1 Mullins Amanda Rot Nansemond River High School
HM Middleton Cayla The Feast Nansemond Suffolk Academy
HM Waddington Mikayla Harsh restriction Nansemond Suffolk Academy
HM Garner Aiden New American Gothic Nansemond River High School
HM Boone Bryana Not Thank You Nansemond River High School
HM Pendleton Nicole Division in Nutrition Nansemond Suffolk Academy
HM Walker-Jenkins Brianna Untitled Kings Fork High School
HM Booker Krista The Fruitless Tree Nansemond Suffolk Academy
HM Campbell Haley Operation Food Drop Forest Glen Middle School
#3 Burks Mileena Growing a Farm of McDonald’s Nansemond River High School
#2 Dowd Paige out of reach Nansemond Suffolk Academy
#1 House Anne Ruffin Surviving Nansemond Suffolk Academy
BEST IN SHOW- AUTHORS Wallace Xavier Food Security Within the Community Kings Fork High School
HM Wylie Lara How Food Quality Affects Students Academics” Nansemond River High School
#3 Taylor Catelyn A World More Receptive Nansemond River High School
#2 Shinaba Shakirat ‘Full on the Outside Hungry on the Inside’ Nansemond River High School
#1 Milliner Morgan Famine Awareness Kings Fork High School
HM Huston Alayna The Monster Outside Nansemond River High School
HM Spencer Cassidy Triple A” Nansemond Suffolk Academy
#3 Clarke Christian The Mcdonalds Round the Corner” Nansemond Suffolk Academy
#1(Tie) Carr Madison Our Reality Nansemond River High School
#1(Tie) Gregory Arianna The Blue Café Nansemond Suffolk Academy
#3 Goden Korey “The Blizzard” Kings Fork High School
#2 Watson Charles Dark before Dawn” Lakeland High School
#1 Mason Windley And We Thank Him for our Food” Nansemond River High School

Suffolk Center Art Galleries generously sponsored by:

Sponsor: Davenport & Company
Sponsor: Suffolk News Herald
Sponsor: Smithfield Times
Sponsor: Tidewater News

Suffolk Sister Cities ‘Peace by Piece’

Walk on the Wild Side 2023

Walk on the Wild Side 
ON VIEW: APRIL 13 – MAY 11, 2023
OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, APRIL 13, 5:30 – 7 PM
FREE and OPEN to the Public

The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts invites you to “Walk on the Wild Side” an exhibit of artwork showcasing the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. The exhibition will feature decoys and other animal carvings, sculptures, photographs, paintings, and drawings that highlight the beauty of nature. Works represent the Great Dismal Swamp, but do not have to be created in the Dismal Swamp. Featured artists: Edward Higinbotham, a woodcarver, and Wayne Martin a watercolorist.

OUR GALLERY: Due to the renovations in the building this exhibit will be featured in our award-winning Norfolk Foundation Gallery. Witness the mastery of visual artists in the gallery space, which hosts an ever-changing array of local and regional exhibitions. The gallery features a beautiful natural light 14-foot ceiling, which has been awarded BEST ART GALLERY GOLD by Coastal Virginia Magazine for both Southside and Peninsula area art galleries, as well as BEST ART GALLERY by the Suffolk News Herald. Suffolk Center’s Art Exhibitions are FREE and OPEN to the public, Tuesday-Saturday, 10am – 4pm.

AWARDS: When participating in the exhibition there is an opportunity for you to be voted 1st, 2nd, 3rd place winner or favorite piece of artwork in the “Walk on the Wild Side” People’s Choice Award. This exhibit will be juried by Jim Gordon an avid woodcarver from Suffolk, Virginia.


Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge contains some of the most important wildlife habitat in the mid-Atlantic region. At near 113,000 acres, the refuge is the largest intact remnant of a vast swamp that once covered more than one million acres.

The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is the largest intact remnant of a vast forested wetland that once covered more than one million acres of southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. Formal protection of this resource began in 1973, when the Union Camp Corporation (a local forest products company) donated 49,097acres to The Nature Conservancy. The Nature Conservancy conveyed the donated land to the federal government, which, combined with additionally purchased land, was used to establish the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in 1974.

The refuge’s conservation priority endeavors to restore the biological diversity of the swamp ecosystem through hydrological restoration, forest management, and fire management. The refuge is home to over 200 species of birds, nearly 100 species of butterflies and skippers, many turtles, numerous white-tailed deer, bobcats, otters, and one of the largest black bear populations on the east coast.

Meet wildlife carver Edward Higinbotham, a Featured Artist in this year’s Walk on The Wild Side Art Exhibition.

Wayne Martin, watercolorist.

Featured Artist Wayne Martin, a watercolorist.

JIm Gordon Juror

Jim Gordon – Juror

Suffolk Center Art Galleries generously sponsored by:

Sponsor: Davenport & Company
Sponsor: Suffolk News Herald
Sponsor: Smithfield Times
Sponsor: Tidewater News

Walk on the Wild Side 2023


OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, JAN. 12th, 5:30 – 7 PM
FREE and OPEN to the Public

The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts offers a variety of art classes throughout the year. This exhibit, SHINE, highlights the work completed by students in these classes along with that of their instructors. The exhibit will also feature artwork by some of the SCCA administrative staff.

Working at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts is always an adventure, meeting people from all walks of life. One day as I was walking in the hallway, I heard a beautiful tune coming from the piano. Though excited to see who was playing, I waited for him to finish, and before he could exit the building, I asked him his name and if he was a professional pianist. Surprisingly, Josiah Austin by day works for the City of Suffolk as a building inspector. He started taking piano lessons at the age of five. He used to play for his church but took a 10-year hiatus when he joined the military, and now he is getting back into his musical groove. The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts invites you to the “SHINE” exhibition opening reception to hear and enjoy the melodic sounds by Josiah Austin. The reception is on Thursday, January 12th, from 5:30 pm-7:00 pm.

Barbara Anne Harris | Suffolk, VA
Bonnie Kaczmarczyk | VA Beach, VA
Darlene Keyt | Windsor, VA
Elizabeth Blanchard | Suffolk, VA
Gordon Jones | Suffolk, VA
Hanna Zadorozhnia | Suffolk, VA
Jeanice Sadler | Suffolk, VA
Joy Branch | Ivor, VA
Karen Sallaz | Suffolk, VA
Lisa Morrison | Suffolk, VA
Phyllis Quire | Suffolk, VA
Rachall Brinkley | Suffolk, VA
Regina DeVal | Suffolk, VA
Rhona Dawson | Suffolk, VA
Sandy West | Chesapeake, VA
Takin Care of Business
Tommy Johnson with Artwork

Artist: Rachall Brinkley

Artist: Lisa Morrison

Artist: Gordon Jones

Artist: Hanna Zadorozhnia

Artist: Phyllis Quire

Artist: Joy Branch

Artist: Elizabeth Blanchard

Artist: Barbara Anne Harris

Artist: Karen Sallaz

Artist: Bonnie Kaczmarczyk

Artist: Jeanice Sadler

Artist: Darlene Keyt

Suffolk Center Art Galleries generously sponsored by:

Sponsor: Davenport & Company
Sponsor: Suffolk News Herald
Sponsor: Smithfield Times
Sponsor: Tidewater News


Takin’ Care of Business

OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, NOV. 10th, 5:30 – 7 PM
FREE and OPEN to the Public

The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts presents, “Takin’ Care of Business” an exhibition taking a look into the businesses of Suffolk, past and present. The exhibit will honor leaders and members of the Suffolk community as featured in the world of business. Patrons will be able to see portraits of who these courageous people are and what they bring to the city. Works include portraiture by Allyn Brown from O’Neal’s Studio as well as local artists who have captivated the very essence of Suffolk’s business community. The galleries will also showcase a collection of artwork on loan from private collectors and photos by Suffolk News Herald Newspaper.

Curatorial research has been done in partnership with the Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society and Annette Montgomery, writer of “Suffolk’s Black America Series.” Visitors will be able to step back in time and see how Suffolk was a bustling city with a plethora of movie theaters, places to shop, and restaurants to dine, downtown Suffolk was the place to be. Come and take selfies with Suffolk’s Peanut People provided by Suffolk Tourism.

Suffolk Department of Economic Development

Special Thanks to  Suffolk Department of Economic Development for helping us curate so many amazing, historical photos of Downtown Suffolk, Virginia.

M & M Hospitality Group

Special Thanks to  M & M Hospitality Group for providing us with delicious tapas for Takin’Care of Business opening reception on Thursday, November 10th from 5:30-7PM. Free and open to the public.

Allyn Brown Photographer

Artist Allyn Brown
Kris Brown and Susie at
The Pinner House

Tommy Johnson with Artwork

Artist Tommy Johnson
‘Seaboard Station’

‘Prentis House’ by Brian Murphy
Owner: Marcus Gersbach

Takin Care of Business

Visual Arts Coordinator, Brittany Waller, hangs historic images of Suffolk in a street grid pattern for Takin’ Care of Business.

Suffolk Center Art Galleries generously sponsored by:

Sponsor: Davenport & Company
Sponsor: Suffolk News Herald
Sponsor: Smithfield Times
Sponsor: Tidewater News

Takin’ Care of Business