ABOVE: Artist name with piece clockwise from left to right, Katelyn Reagan, Jessie Grissom, Sophie Cozzolino, Shelby Cook, Sandra England and Maggie O’Leary.
By Mary Jo Harrod
Division of Compliance Assistance
Art adds richness to each person’s existence, although everyone’s idea differs about what exactly constitutes art.
For 2015-2016, students submitted artwork in a variety of media for the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) EcoART Contest. This contest is aimed at encouraging Kentucky high school students to express themselves through artwork that inspires others to protect and preserve the environment. Creative, interesting, colorful and thought-provoking works are the result.
Such works include drawing/painting/print work, mixed media, sculpture/pottery, digital artwork and photography. Visited by hundreds of visitors annually, the hallways at the DEP Training Center in Frankfort are decorated with the student artwork that is based on the themes of water, air, land and natural habitat.
“I found a mushroom on the ground and thought it was cool because of the unusual color. Unusual items in the environment, such as this, are the simple beauties that everyday people skim past and look over,” said Jessie Grissom, a student winner from Metcalfe County High School, who photographed a colorful mushroom for the theme of Land and Natural Habitats. “It relates to land and natural habitat because a mushroom is a naturally occurring beauty that needs to be preserved.”
Shelby Cook, from Pleasure Ridge Park High School in Louisville, used wire and string to sculpt the body of a fox, for the theme of Land and Natural Habitats. Yarn was used to create a fluffy tail.
“I was inspired by a video I saw of little foxes caught on camera in the middle of the night,” said Cook. “They were acting just like little puppies. It amazed me that these little wild creatures play just like our cats and dogs. To me, foxes represent innocence, but are wild creatures.
I believe that it’s important for us to protect the environment of these very special, playful animals. In order to preserve this wild playground and its creatures, we have to intentionally take steps to ensure that their habitat are protected and maintained .”
Other winning entries were submitted by Sandra England, Katelyn Reagan and Maggie O’Leary from Metcalfe County High School in Edmonton; and Sophie Cozzolino from North Bullitt High School in Shepherdsville.
Details about the upcoming 2016–17 Eco-Art Contest will be announced later this year. For more information about the contest and how to enter, visit http://dca.ky.gov/LGGS/Pages/ecoart.aspx.