Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Submitted by Holly Walker, PR manager, John Tyler Community College

 From a young age, Tallie Frost knew she was an artist. It’s how she saw herself. As a child, she dreamed of becoming a cartoonist, but over time, her goals shifted. She joined the military and spent six years serving in the Army National Guard, but her desire to express herself creatively never vanished.

JTCC student and artist, Tallie Frost

When the time came to re-enlist, Frost, a Memphis, Tenn., native now living in Chesterfield, chose to transition out of the military. With the encouragement of those around her, she also decided to pursue her lifelong interest of in art.

“It was a combination of my father and husband who steered me back on the path to learning to become an artist,” she said. “I can never thank them enough for that.”

Frost’s journey brought her to John Tyler Community College, where she enrolled in the Visual Arts program. And, while her classes differ and the mediums change, Frost says one thing remains constant: her source of inspiration – her child, Arianna.

It is Arianna who takes center stage in Frost’s artwork, “Innocence,” which was recently named as the 2018 John Tyler Community College Foundation Art Award. The charcoal drawing was created from a photograph as part of a class project. “Winning the Foundation Art Award has been surreal,” said Frost. “Words cannot express my gratitude. The thing that has been the most rewarding, though, is the reactions from the community. It’s thanks to my family at John Tyler and at home that this piece was even made.” 

Frost is currently interning at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and is just months away from graduating with her associate degree. She says she is glad she began her journey at Tyler.

“Thanks to the amazing staff at John Tyler and my peers, I have a strong foundation as a student and a professional artist,” she said. After graduating, she plans to continue her education at a four-year college or university. And, while she went back to school with the goal of being an art teacher, Frost says she believes she can fulfill her childhood dream of becoming an animator.

Originated in 1995, the John Tyler Community College Foundation Art Award showcases the artistic abilities of John Tyler students. Finalists were chosen by the Foundation Art Award Selection Committee, made up of Foundation Board members and college faculty and staff. Members of the Foundation Board of Directors then select the winning entry from among the finalists. An image of the winning artwork is converted into a poster and into cards that are used by the Foundation and the college. The winner receives a financial award, a framed and matted copy of the poster, and additional posters for his or her portfolio.

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Virginia's Community Colleges

Created more than 50 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve about 400,000 students a year in credit and workforce courses.

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