June 5, 2024


Government Relations and Public Affairs
187 Harry S. Truman Parkway
Annapolis, Maryland 21401


Seven Baltimore City Public Schools students awarded $20,500 in scholarships through Courting Art Baltimore

BALTIMORE, Md. – On May 20, 2024, the District Court in Baltimore City unveiled the finalists and winners for the Courting Art Baltimore contest. Students from Baltimore City public high schools submitted artwork, through various mediums, expressing the theme “Baltimore Bright.” Scholarships, totaling $20,500, were awarded to seven student finalists for art programs and post-high school degrees. The contest was founded by Senior Judge Halee F. Weinstein in 2015 and is chaired by Brian D. Katzenberg, Esq.

“I congratulate all the students who participated in this year’s Courting Art Baltimore contest. Their creativity and commitment to beautifying their hometown is extraordinary,” said Chief Justice Matthew J. Fader, Supreme Court of Maryland. “Each piece of artwork told a story about Baltimore and the artist’s experiences, which serves as a reminder of the interconnectedness of people and places in every community.”

Presented by the District Court in Baltimore City, Courting Art Baltimore is a celebrated partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools, Arts Every Day, the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), and the CollegeBound Foundation. The contestants’ artwork showcases the creative talent of Baltimore City public high school youth and connects both the legal and local communities in Baltimore City.

“Courting Art Baltimore brings young people and the community together in a unique way by not only showcasing their artistic talent, but it also highlights the varied and important perspectives of Baltimore’s youth,” said Chief Judge John P. Morrissey. “I am honored to have their artwork decorate the courthouse for the public to reflect upon and enjoy. I also applaud Judge Halee Weinstein’s inspiration and vision in bringing this program to Baltimore’s young artists.”

The Courting Art Baltimore panelists who served as judges for the art contest included Baltimore City Public Schools College and Career Readiness Advisor Natalie Estelle; Restoring Destiny Mental Health Services Founder and Licensed Social Worker Jessica Fauntleroy; Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts Community Liaison Iya Jackson; Cohen, Snyder, Eisenberg & Katzenberg P.A. Attorney and Courting Art Baltimore Chair Brian Katzenberg; Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts Community Engagement Manager Twi McCallum; Maryland Institute College of Art Director of Youth and Community Education Natovian McLeod; Gordon Feinblatt, LLC Counsel Amanda Paige; and Senior District Court in Baltimore City Judge Halee F. Weinstein

“All of the students who participated in Courting Art Baltimore did a fantastic job and each work of art demonstrates their unique and thoughtful perspectives,” said Senior Judge Halee F. Weinstein, District Court in Baltimore City, who presides and founded the initiative. “The program was adapted from one that I visited in Pennsylvania, which was replicated in Baltimore with the help and support of the Baltimore Bar Foundation, the Bar Association of Baltimore City, Baltimore City Public Schools, the Arts Every Day program, and countless others who helped make this program a success by bringing art to a heavily utilized public space such as the courthouse.”

“This is a thoughtful and exciting community-based program for the District Court in Baltimore City,” said Administrative Judge Geoffrey G. Hengerer. “I am proud to have the students’ artwork displayed at the Eastside District courthouse, where it is bringing joy to court visitors while creating a public space to view and display the students’ artwork.”

In addition to scholarships, Courting Art Baltimore awarded each of the 20 finalists with a $50 gift card. Two students received free placement in the Maryland Institute College of Art Young People’s Studio, which is for students in grades 9 to 11.

The scholarship and MICA Studio winners are:

  • Sophie Bender, grade 12, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, First Place, $7,500
  • Jamiry Blankey, grade 12, Frederick Douglass High School, Second Place, $4,500
  • Sukanya Phillip, grade 12, Reginald F. Lewis High School, Third Place, $3,500
  • Steven Johnson, grade 12, Mergenthaler Vo-Tech High School, Fourth Place, $2,250
  • Tanaja Lily-Williams, grade 12, Frederick Douglass High School, Fifth Place, $1,500
  • Katherine DeLeon, grade 11, Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts, Sixth Place, $750
  • Love Stewart, grade 11, Baltimore Design School, Founder’s Choice Award, $500
  • Jaylyn Walker, grade 11, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, MICA Young Peoples Studio Scholarship
  • Diamon Coulbourne, grade 10, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, MICA Young Peoples Studio Scholarship

The student finalists’ artwork has been professionally reproduced for long-term display at the Eastside Courthouse located at 1400 East North Avenue.

Courting Art Baltimore
First Place
Artist: Sophie Bender
Artwork by Laila Williams
Second Place
Artist: Jamiry Blankey
Artwork by Laila Williams
Third Place
Artist: Sukanya Phillip
Courting Art Baltimore
Fourth Place
Artist: Steven Johnson
Artwork by Laila Williams
Fifth Place
Artist: Tanaja Lily-Williams
Artwork by Laila Williams
Sixth Place
Artist: Katherine DeLeon
Courting Art Baltimore
Founder's Choice
Artist: Love Stewart
Artwork by Laila Williams
MICA Young Peoples Studio Scholarship
Artist: Jaylyn Walker
Artwork by Laila Williams
MICA Young Peoples Studio Scholarship
Artist: Diamon Coulbourne

Bradley Tanner
Public Information Officer
[email protected]

Terri Charles
Asst. Public Information Officer
[email protected]