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Students Bring History Alive In Words, Pictures

OSWEGO, NY – Students from around the county took part in two unique contests to bring history alive in words and pictures.

The H. Lee White Marine Museum hosted a recognition ceremony for the winners of the “Arts & History Rule!” and the “Write Away!” contests.

Jennaca Longley poses with her award-winning painting.Students were required to visit the museum, tour the exhibits and prepare an entry inspired by some particular theme, exhibit or artifact.

Cash prizes of $25, $50 and $100 were awarded for the three best entries, selected by the judges, in each of three grade categories.

Grades 1 – 3 were awarded special non-competitive gifts for participating.

“I feel very, very strongly about the importance of the arts in the cultural activities of the museum and the city as a whole,” said Marine Museum board member and member of the AAO Michele Southgate. “We had a wonderful response and the amount of talent displayed by the students, at every grade level, is amazing.”

She liked having the students’ artworks interspersed with the other exhibits on display at the museum.

“It really makes them a part of the entire museum,” she noted. “We’re very proud of all the young artists. We have some very talented young people in our community.”

“We had to split the awards ceremonies into two sections because we had almost 200 entries in the writing and arts contest. That’s a good thing; we seem to grow every year,” said Mercedes Niess, museum director.

Chris Gray considers whether to read his award-winning entry at the museum. Looking on is Mercedes Niess, museum director.The artwork will be on display at the Art Association of Oswego at a later date.

There will be a special reading at the river’s end bookstore of the writing contest winners at 6 p.m. on June 26.

Jennaca Longley captured the first place for the grades 10-12 division of the art competition. She was the winner in 2007, also.

“I love World War II history. I was really interested that the (museum’s) tug was one of the only tugboats that was in Normandy and is still in working order. I found it very, very interesting,” she said.

It took a long time to complete the painting, but she wanted to make sure she got the details just right, she explained.

“It was a lot of fun,” she added.

The prizes were sponsored by the Oswego County Charitable Foundation of Alliance Bank, Rotary Club of Oswego (Sunrise), Norma DeAmbra, Oswego County Teachers’ Association, Oswego County Retired Teachers’ Association, as well as by river’s end bookstore, Children’s Board of Oswego, and Time and Again Books & Tea.

Judges for the arts contest were Tim Ames of the Art Association of Oswego, and Rosemary Bannon Piementel of SUNY Oswego.

The writing competition was judged by Bruce Frassinelli, Martha Hammill, Sharon Komanecky, Margaret Maniccia, Joan Waterbury, and Steve Yablonski.

“It’s just heart-warming to see the results of all the hard work and effort that goes into both programs, the writing and the art,” Niess said. “It says an awful lot about our young people, that we can be very proud of the youth today.”

In one grade category, they had 54 entries in the writing event. “That’s pretty amazing,” Niess said. “We thank them for all their hard work.”

Joan Waterbury, the senior judge in the writing category speaking for all the judges said, “This was an honor and a privilege to read the kinds of things that these boys and girls are writing.”

“When you read the kinds of things these young people write, it is just very inspiring,” she continued. “It was very hard to judge, it is every year; it seems like every year it gets a little harder because the papers get better and better.”

Some of the stories made the judges so excited they couldn’t wait to turn the page to get to the next part.

“That is high praise indeed,” Waterbury said.

During the event, drawings were held for family packages to Santa’s Workshop and Sylvan Beach.

The winners of the arts event were:

Grades 4-6

First – Mayraliz Lopez
Second – Chloe Patterson
Third (tie) – Arthur Nygard and Audrey Ravas
Honorable Mention – Taylor Hamer

Grades 7-9

First – Emily Canfield
Second – Susan Nygard
Third – Rebecca Gray
Honorable Mention – Elora Cordone

Grades 10-12

First – Jennaca Longley
Second – Elizabeth Canfield
Third – Sonya Nygard
Honorable Mention – Evangeline Canfield.

The winners in the writing contest were:

Grades 4-6

First – Kara Weiss
Second – Christopher Gray
Third – Brenna Sherman
Honorable Mention – Thomas Simmonds

Grades 7-9

First (tie) – Rebecca Gray and Hannah Valentino and Steven Watros
Second – Emily June Gray
Third (tie) –Taylor DiVirgilio and Brittany Weimar
Honorable Mention – Meghan Gillen

Grades 10-12

First – Sonya Nygard
Second – Delreon Williams
Third – Derek Grindle