By Janene Hill
Manhattan Public Library was honored again this year to host and help sponsor the Martin Luther King, Jr. Art and Writing Contest. This year’s contest garnered 150 entries, 64 artwork submissions and 86 written pieces.
With the theme “Looking Back, Looking Forward: 50 Years of Change”, this year’s entries acknowledge the importance of integration and cooperation as highlighted by Dr. King’s messages.
Submissions for the contest were accepted at Manhattan Public Library beginning in December, with judging taking place January 9.
Winning entries honor Dr. King and encourage us to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as we strive toward a brighter future in our community and world. All of the participants in this year’s contest understood the importance of Dr. King’s place in the world that still resonates throughout society today.
This year’s artwork came in the form of nail art, photography, chalk drawings, watercolor painting, and drawn artwork in pencil and crayon. Writing included a wide variety of formats including poetry, letters to Dr. King, creative writing pieces, and narratives.
Winning entries were displayed at Manhattan Town Center Mall during Martin Luther King Day activities, and are now on display at Manhattan Public Library (MPL) and on the library website, where they will remain for the next month. Several non-winning entries are also on display at the library in the Children’s Room.
With a grant from the Manhattan Fund of the Caroline F. Peine Foundation and matching funds from the The Gallery for Peace and Justice, along with other contributions, the contest committee is able to award over $1200 in prizes to this year’s winners.
Prizes included gift certificates from Varney’s and, for Best of Show winners, gift certificates from Manhattan Town Center Mall. They also received a book and bag from MPL and the Manhattan Library Association, t-shirts and certificates courtesy of HandsOn Kansas State, and a certificate of recognition from the MLK Art & Writing Contest Committee.
A huge thanks goes out to the Contest Committee Members and judges for this year’s contest. These individuals contribute valuable time and effort into making the contest a meaningful community event.
MLK Art & Writing Contest Committee Members include: Jennifer Adams, Susan Withee, Laura Miles, and Janene Hill, all of MPL; and Cindy Burr, Director of the Gallery for Peace and Justice.
Judges for the 2012 contest included, writing judges: Dr. Peter Pellegrin, Instructor of English at Cloud County Community College, Geary County Campus; Marcia Allen, Technical Services Manager at MPL; and John Pecararo, Assistant Director at MPL. Art judges were: Jay Nelson, Director of the Strecker-Nelson Art Gallery; Amanda Hedrick, Education & Marketing Director at the Manhattan Arts Center; and Grace Benedick, a student at Kansas State University.
Award winners were invited to participate in two community ceremonies recognizing their achievement. The first was the “Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Celebration” sponsored by HandsOn Kansas State. Which took place on Sunday, January 15 at the KSU Leadership Studies building. The second took place during community MLK celebration at Manhattan Town Center Mall on Monday, January 16. Manhattan Mayor Jim Sherow announced the winners in the annual recognition ceremony.
Selected entries may be published or broadcast in or through local media outlets as schedules allow. Winning entries may also be used for development into greeting cards through The Gallery for Peace and Justice. More information is available through Cindy Burr at the Gallery. Last year’s winning art entries are currently available as note cards, on sale at all Varney’s locations.
MLK, Jr. Art and Writing Contest Winners
Best of Show: Vonnie Neyhart (Adult)
Grades K-2nd: Ava Bahr, Manhattan Catholic School, first grade
Grades 3-5th: Colin Hohenbary, Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School, third grade
Grades 6-8th: Kaitlyn French and Nicki Keller, Amanda Arnold Elementary School, sixth grade
Grades 9-12th: Heather Goodenow, Rock Creek High School, sophomore
Adult: Mary Gordon, Kansas State University
Honorable Mentions: Mason Camera, Manhattan Catholic School, fourth grade; Jazmin Gantt, Lee Elementary School, third grade; and Erin Logan (Adult)
Best of Show: Karis Ryu, Manhattan Catholic School, seventh grade
Grades K-2nd: Rachel Corn, Manhattan Catholic School, second grade
Grades 3-5th: Elizabeth Hohn, Amanda Arnold Elementary School, fourth grade
Grades 6-8th: Macie Frakes, Manhattan Catholic School, eighth grade
Adult: Christy Sauer
Honorable Mentions: Breigh Brockman, Manhattan Catholic School, second grade; and Carly Smith, Manhattan Catholic School, eighth grade