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High School Art Contest winners announced

First-place winner Alexis Lane, of Coalton displays her winning artwork in the Mountain Arts District’s first annual online High School Art Contest

ELKINS — Winners of the Mountain Arts District’s first annual online High School Art Contest were announced this week by President Scottie Wiest.

First-place winner Alexis Lane, of Coalton, received the most “likes” for her whimsical depiction of a cow.

Sienna Bircher, of Arbovale, took second place for her tribute to an endangered species with her entry entitled “Bee Sweet.”

Amelia Gotschall, of Norton, took third place with a lovely portrait entitled, “Ron.”

The First Place winner received $100 and the Second and Third Prize winners each received $50. The prizes were donated and then presented by Lisa Armstrong of Ajuga, Inc.

Sienna Bircher, of Arbovale, took second place for her tribute to an endangered species with her entry entitled ‘Bee Sweet.’ The contest was open to all high school students in Randolph, Tucker, Upshur, Pocahontas, Barbour and Nicholas counties in response to the COVID-19 shutdowns to allow students to showcase their efforts to the public.

Honorable Mention winners were: Emily Fox of Buckhannon, Cameron Thomas of Mt. Lookout, and Samaria Coffman of Belingto,n as well as additional submissions by Alexis and Sienna.

The contest was open to all high school students in Randolph, Tucker, Upshur, Pocahontas, Barbour and Nicholas counties in response to the COVID-19 shutdowns to allow students to showcase their efforts to the public.

The student artwork was promoted regionally through the Mountain Arts District social media pages, website, press releases, email marketing campaigns and through our network of volunteers.

“The board of the Mountain Arts District decided to give high school students something to aspire to as they are isolated in this very strange time,” said Wiest. “By engaging the students, we hoped to encourage them to keep up their skills and let them know that there were people in the community who truly cared about them.”

And care about them they did! More than 700 people from four countries voted in the contest, which was managed on the Mountain Arts Facebook page by Lori Chenoweth and Sam Helman at LMC and Associates. The entries were displayed on the Facebook page and the winners were determined by the number of “likes” given to each piece of art.

All entries are now available for viewing on the Mountain Arts District website at madwv.com.

The contest was sponsored by Lisa Armstrong of Ajuga, Inc.

“For me the benefit was two-fold: Not only were we able to spotlight and encourage these incredibly talented youth but the contest also served to bring awareness of the Mountain Arts District and its purpose to people in and around our region. That purpose being to promote the artists of all genres in this region and promote our area as an arts destination,” Armstrong said.

“I’m hoping we can do this again next year and encourage more businesses and organizations to help sponsor this contest and support the Mountain Arts District.”

The Mountain Arts District (MAD) was officially incorporated in 2016 and is committed to doing projects that contribute to the arts economy in a multi-county area. It operates a website that showcases artists and art venues while maintaining an arts calendar. MAD also operates a Facebook page which showcases artists and promotes regional arts events and opportunities.

In addition, MAD has sponsored publicly displayed children’s art in Elkins City Park, Glendale Park and George Ward School, and more are planned for Harman, Coalton and Beverly. MAD has also partnered with the Pocahontas County Arts Council to put additional children’s art in Marlinton and Green Bank. Hopefully this will become a Children’s Art Trail. Also, once a year, MAD offers a workshop for artist entrepreneurs, called Jump Start Your Art.

To support artists during these difficult times, the Mountain Arts District is sponsoring a Zoom networking meeting called Creating During Covid. It will be Tuesday, June 30 at 7:30 p.m. A special challenge will be announced.

Check the Mountain Arts District Facebook page for details about registration. Questions about any of MAD’s projects can be sent to: mtnartsdistrict@gmail.com.

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