The IssueAboutHistoryMentorsA.R.T. Media Gallery


Shaquanna Nolden
Art Founder

I’m so glad you are here!

I’m Shaquanna, a multitalented 16-year-old graduate of Simmons High School, who has a deep passion for fine arts and continues to look for opportunities to not only better myself, but others as well. Outside of school work, drawing (my fave :-), reading and writing take up my spare time.

I created the idea of the A.R.T. Program in hopes of achieving 4 specific goals:

  • To improve the surrounding areas through visual arts
  • Give additional opportunities to young visual artist who want to develop their skills
  • Help change the perception about young people from the Mississippi Delta
  • Make this art program a foundation for young artist in the Mississippi Delta area for generations to come

I was inspired by my favorite quote, “Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty Hearts can do that” – Norman Vincent. This means, no matter who you are, where you’re from, or what you have, you can still be whatever or whoever you want to be, as long as you have the mind and determination to do it!


Mrs. Earnestine Johnson
Executive Director

I am Mrs. Earnestine Johnson-Turnipseed, the Executive Director of the Floyd and Bessie Johnson Foundation, a graduate of Greenville High School and a senior mechanical engineer at Entergy Power Company. The Floyd and Bessie Johnson Foundation (board of directors include Keith Warren, VP; Lorrayne Johnson, Director of Social Media Development and Leo Turnipseed, Director of Public Relations) is hosting the A.R.T. group as part of its mandate of encouraging young people to pursue leadership roles in developing themselves and their communities.


Dewon Hall
Mentor / Project Liaison

What’s up?!
I’m Dewon, Webmaster/Web Administrator at Mississippi Valley State University, and I was born and raised in the Mississippi Delta. A graduate of East Side High School in Cleveland, Mississippi, I earned degrees from Jackson State University and Delta State University.

A.R.T. was truly a GOD send. I was looking for a way to make an impact in the lives of young artists, especially those who are considering careers in the fine and digital art fields. This is truly the right spot for me! As a mentor, I help with coordinating activities and exposing young artists to different methodologies of fine and digital arts. I hope to make a long-lasting impact by helping young creatives cultivate their natural gifts. Their talent – coupled with my passion to provide a positive outlet for self-expression – provides exciting options for college and career success.


Corey Johnson

Hey! Hey! Hey!
I’m Corey, an art teacher at McBride Pre-K Academy in Greenville, MS and graduate of Delta State University. I’m also a published book illustrator, mural painter, and portrait artist. My desire to join the mentorship program is fueled by the desire to use my GOD given vision as an artist to encourage the youth of the city to find their gifts and utilize their potential to be the absolute best that they can be.


Valerie Cokley
Lead Parent Support

Hi there!
Do you love cake? I hope so! My passion and talent lie in the art of creating and designing cakes for all occasions. It’s a visual art, but one you can eat! Even though I am not a direct mentor to the kids, I am a proud parent supporter of A.R.T. and I encourage any parent with an artistic child, to nourish their talent!

My goal is to help support and inspire artists like my daughter {Shaquanna Nolden}. I know that this program will give young visual and digital artists a great opportunity to be recognized for their talent and also mold them into the artist they want to become.