A pair of home-schooled students and one from the Hillsboro Christian Academy took home $225 in prize money for their works of art in the Young American Creative Patriotic Art Awards, held Thursday evening at VFW Post 9094 in Hillsboro.
Post Commander Rick Wilkin said that at first glance, he thought all those that entered “did a pretty good job.”
“Outstanding might be a better word to use,” he said. “When they were judged, I believe the judges had a hard time trying to figure out which one was really the best.”
Judging this year’s contest were local retired art teacher Avery Applegate; Tanya Hendrix, an art teacher at Hillsboro High School; and Samantha Charek, who teaches art in the Hillsboro City Schools.
First place honors for her artwork that depicted faceless soldiers in uniform, representing those who were killed in the cause of freedom in past conflicts and carried with it $100 in prize money, went to Isabella O’Madden of Hillsboro, who is homeschooled and takes art classes at Chatfield College.
Felicity Klein of Hillsboro was awarded $75 for her second place entry of her grandfather’s tri-folded American flag in a case. She is also homeschooled and was unable to attend Thursday’s event due to a schedule conflict with graduation ceremonies at Laurel Oaks.
Rounding out the top three winners was Hillsboro Christian Academy senior Ethan Hatfield of Greenfield, who was no stranger to the VFW competition since he was the first place winner in “The Voice of Democracy” essay contest held earlier this year. His third place entry of “Into the Eyes of the Past,” inspired by a painting by Ron Cole, earned him a $50 check from the local VFW.
Receiving honorable mention gift bags for their entries Thursday night were Joel Thomas of Peebles, Emmy Zurface of Hillsboro, Emma Rhonemus of the Marshall area, Emma Bratton of Wilmington, Dakota Bosier of Sinking Spring and Hanna McIntyre of the Mowrystown area — all students of Hillsboro Christian Academy.
Shirley Wilkin of VFW Auxiliary Post 9094 said that entry forms were sent to art teachers of local schools earlier this year by the chairman of the scholarship committee of the auxiliary, with students encouraged to enter with artwork of patriotic subject matter in various mediums.
She said that the first three places were chosen out of a total of nine entries that were submitted, with each local auxiliary permitted to send only one entry to its district headquarters.
Each of Ohio’s 12 VFW district entries were then sent to district judging on April 15, and Wilkin said that last week, each state submitted its winning entry to the VFW’s national headquarters in Kansas City, Mo.
“We sent Isabella’s entry in and received confirmation that it was received on time,” Shirley Wilkin said. “Usually if an entry doesn’t make the cut in state competition it’s returned to the local VFW that sent it, and since we haven’t received Isabella’s artwork back yet, we’ve got our fingers crossed.”
Judging for the national winners is set to occur during the organizations’ national convention scheduled for Orlando, Fla. in mid-July, she said.
According to the VFW, each year more than 3,500 high school students from across the country participate in the contest, which began 40 years ago to recognize up-and-coming artists and encourage patriotism in youth.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.