MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The Socastee High School principal nominated this week’s Student Spotlight for being the Congressional Art contest winner.
Congressman Tom Rice selected Dawson Bell’s painting to represent one of his seven districts. The painting will be displayed in the United States Capitol building for one year. The piece of art is titled, ‘Fishing off the Surfside Pier.’
“I really wanted to go out of my comfort zone," Bell said. "I’ve never done a finger painting before and I thought that was really interesting. At the time when I did that the hurricane come through and destroyed the pier, so I wanted to create something to show what’s so great about Myrtle Beach. We would go fishing there every weekend.”
Bell doesn’t consider himself a specific type of artist.
“I really like art, because it really allows you to be your own person and really share your own creativity to the world,” he said. “This is why I really like Socastee; the art programs are amazing there. I would only draw or paint every now and again, but now I’m doing things like the scratch board and the wire sculpture. Socastee has really helped me a lot.”
As far as his proudest moment at Socastee High, Bell said it’s his artwork being selected.
"Because I have won minor awards in the past, but this is on a national level. It’s a dream come true for me,” he said.
Some of Bell’s other accolades include a piece being selected as part of Seacoast Artist Guild Myrtle Beach’s area student art show in 2019, Leadership in Game Design and Animation for SHS in 2018, and outstanding achievement in art for 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Bell has stayed very active throughout high school. He was vice president of the Art club his junior year and hopes to be president his senior year. Bell has been involved in National Art Honor Society, National Honor Society, HOSA for future healthcare professionals, DECA for future business leaders, a member of Family, Career and Community Leaders, or FCCLA.
He has also been a part of the varsity cross country, basketball and tracks teams, and a student trainer volunteer for the JV and varsity volleyball teams. He also won Sweetheart King of Socastee his junior year.
Outside of school, Bell works at the Chick-fil-A in Surfside Beach.
"I love working there. Everything they go by what they teach you and how they tell you to treat others the way you want to be treated. My bosses are great, everyone is so nice,” Bell said. He also is a member of the Chick-fil-A Leader Academy.
During quarantine, Bell created his new self portrait of himself wearing a face mask.
“I actually did that all my online art class, so that was really hard. We were going through a lot during this time so I wanted to show this is the new norm and everyone is wearing face masks,” he said.
Bell said he believes when and if people overcome the pandemic, everyone will be stronger than before.
As far as his future goals, Bell wants to pursue a career involving science, art and helping people, so his dream career is to become a bio-medical engineer. Next year, he hopes to attend Wofford College in Spartanburg.