Students Awarded For Environmental Art


By Ian Shalapata

(WINDSOR, ON) – The Arts Council Windsor and Region invited local high school students to submit works of art as part of the annual Working with the Environment juried competition. On May 13, the winners were announced and $1,000 in prizes were awarded.

Twenty total submissions were entered in the competition representing nine area high schools. The works were a from a diverse range of media and on display at ArtSpeak Gallery from May 10 until the awards ceremony.

The jury of Elaine Carr, Mariano Klimowicz, and Andrea Slavik awarded 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners and there was a People’s Choice Award which was voted upon during the 4-day showing.

Unity, Jasmine Blanchard, sculpture, 2016.
Unity, Jasmine Blanchard, sculpture, 2016.

First place and a $400 prize was awarded to Jasmine Blanchard, of Westview Freedom Academy for her sculpture UNITY.

“When I was told about the Working with the Environment project, I noticed my teacher was using maps as a subject for art projects in her senior class,” Blanchard explained. “This gave me the idea to cover a head in maps and to create texture by making quills for protection. As I progressed, the face in front of me started to take on an aquatic look. My own beliefs are that we are species evolved from the ocean and slowly evolved to become human.”

Computer Bugs, Ola Soszynski, Olivia Musselwhite, and Emma Schincariol, mixed media, 2016.

Second Place and $300 was awarded to Ola Soszynski, Olivia Musselwhite, and Emma Schincariol, from St Anne’s Catholic High School for their mixed media entry entitled COMPUTER BUGS.

“Our computer bugs are representations of how something ordinary can become a piece of art,” the trio submitted. “Simple, everyday items, such as scrap metal, which are usually seen as unusable materials, can easily become beautiful when formed and placed a certain way. Using these scraps to make beautiful insects promotes reusing objects, to preserve the Earth and make it more appealing in the process.”

Find A Way Out, Jacob Maxwell Schwab, acrylic, 2016.

Third Place and $200 was presented to Jacob Maxwell Schwab, of Assumption Catholic Secondary School, for his acrylic painting FIND A WAY OUT.

“My piece of artwork takes a critical view on one of the most prevalent issues that we as a world are facing right now,” Schwab explained. “Extinction of wildlife species, depletion of ozone layer, and increase in air pollution are just a few of the negative symptoms of global warming.”

Finally, the People’s Choice Award and $100 were presented to Emma Ricci, of Belle River District High School, for her acrylic paint and copic markers submission of LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, which garnered the majority of the 1,500 votes received by the 20 works of art over the four days.

Life Is Beautiful,
Life Is Beautiful, Emma Ricci, acrylic paint and copic markers, 2016.

“The ‘force of nature’ is depicted by the lion, because this animal is known to be powerful, the ‘king’ of the animal kingdom, and also represents living things on Earth,” Ricci said. “He can be fearless and dangerous if treated the wrong way. When we destroy the environment and its living things, our actions will result in backlash.”

The competition and prize awards were made possible by the partnership with UNIFOR local 200, the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board, the Greater Essex Public School Board, and Conseil scolaire catholique Providence.

You can see all the submissions to Working With the Environment online at the ACWR website.