2016–17 DEP EcoART Contest winners announced

By Mary Jo Harrod

Division of Compliance Assistance

As Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and contemporary artist Mickey Hart was known for saying, “Art in the classroom not only spurs creativity, it also inspires learning.”

And that is exactly the goal of the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s EcoART Contest, now in its eighth year. Each year, the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection sponsors the EcoART Contest through the Division of Compliance Assistance, to encourage Kentucky high school students to submit artwork that challenges all of us to protect and preserve our environment.

For the contest, students submitted artwork in a variety of media, including drawing/painting/print work, mixed media, sculpture/pottery, digital and photography, based on the themes of water, air and land and natural habitat. The winners of the 2016-17 contest were selected in April, and the awards were presented at the end of April and throughout May.

One contest winner, Kaylee Thornsbury, of Morgan County High School in West Liberty, Ky., used watercolors and the theme of water to create “Flow of Life.”

Potter-Thornsberry Artwork

Kaylee Thornsbury, of Morgan County High School in West Liberty.


“For my artwork, I was inspired by how freely water flows,” she said. “I wanted my art to mimic that smooth flow of water and also express how water is a necessity for all living beings. Because I wanted to portray the flow of water, I used watercolor. The paint spreads and flows throughout the paper in ways that you don’t always have control over; I thought this would give it the free, relaxed feel of water.”

Other contest winners were Yedarm Lee of Somerset Christian School in Somerset; Savannah Wilder of Pleasure Ridge Park High School in Louisville; and Heather Bensinger of Mercer County High School in Harrodsburg.

Artwork from the 2017 contest winners will be displayed at the Energy and Environment Cabinet, 300 Sower Boulevard, Frankfort, KY 40601.

For more information about the contest please visit or call the Division of Compliance Assistance at 502-564-0323.

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