Students in grades kindergarten through second grade at Salamonie School were recently presented with the opportunity to use their art skills for a special project – designing Christmas-themed pieces for a Christmas Card Contest.
The tradition for the contest began last year in Warren when Josh Heim, owner and operator of JH Pottery Works, realized that students in the town of Huntington were able to enter designs with the Mayor’s office in a contest for a town Christmas card. Heim said he wanted to “borrow” the idea and give children in Warren an opportunity to do the same.
In October of this year, Cynthia Callison, the art teacher at Salamonie, had students create their designs. Students were allowed to use a variety of materials for the projects, including watercolors, markers, crayons, permanent markers and more.
After the designs were complete, Heim met with the Warren Chamber of Commerce and winners were chosen from the designs. Two first-place designs are chosen to use for the professionally printed cards, which are sponsored by JH Pottery Works and professionally printed by Bad Apple Graphics out of Van Buren. Three other designs are chosen for second and third place, as well as an honorable mention. Contest winners and their designs were:
Kindergartener Nora Colclasure, snowman.
Second grader Trey Shenefield, red truck and tree.
Second grader Macie Richardson, gingerbread house.
First grader Wyatt Blair, winter village.
Kindergartener Lillie Leazier, snowman with eyelashes.
Shenefield expressed that he was “nervous” while creating his piece for the contest.
“My heart was beating so fast!” he said. “I wanted to get second place or at least something that I was happy with. I never thought I would get first place!”
Shenefield said that, when he heard over the announcements that his design had been chosen as one of the first place winners, he jumped out of his seat.
His design, featuring a red truck delivering a Christmas tree, was inspired not only be the colors he wanted to use, but through his desire to make something like a “real artist” would.
Colclasure, who designed a snowman, chose to give it a red and blue striped scarf “because she likes those colors” and likes to make “big and tall” snowmen in real life. She used watercolor and permanent marker as part of her materials.
Blair’s design was based off of the town of Warren itself.
“I saw the city and I wanted to do that, and then once I was done with that, I saw a train, and I said I wanted to put that with it,” Blair said. “My favorite part I think was the train going through it.”
Blair said that when he found out he was chosen as one of the contest winners, he was “very excited.”
Leazier, who also created a snowman, gave hers a scarf with red and green stripes because they are Christmas colors. Her snowman featured a bright red hat and she explained that she and her siblings like to make snowmen at home that look like her design. Leazier also used water colors and other materials for her design.
Richardson’s gingerbread house design was reminiscent of the gingerbread houses that she has made with her family before. She drew several types of candy, including gum drops on the roof, peppermints for windows and candy canes outside the door. There are also gum drops falling from the sky like snow and larger gum drops in the yard.
“I was really happy when I found out I won,” Richardson said.
The completed cards, featuring designs by Colcasure and Shenefield, will be available for residents to pick up free of charge at the JH Pottery Works studio and other Warren businesses. A portion of the cards will also be delivered to residents at Heritage Pointe of Warren.