The fourth and frightful OCAY League competition

The fourth and final Oswego County Academic Youth (OCAY) League competition of the 2011-12 school year took place on Friday, April 13th and was a fright-inspired artistic and creative writing challenge.

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The team from Oswego High School was the first place winner in the final Oswego County Academic Youth League competition of the 2011-12 school year. The team is pictured above with team coach Joshua DeLorenzo and the four artistic pieces that they created during the competition. Left to right, are team members: Christina Abare, Emily Henderson, Ashley Pitters, Emily Fleishman, Megan Mahaney, Andrea Folgherait, Paige Hart, and Patricia Talamo,

The timed, three-hour competition was comprised of several tasks with the first requiring each team to create a pencil drawing portraying their interpretation of the following quote by poet T.S. Eliot: “Anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity.”

The second component of this task was to write a description about the drawing and include an explanation of their interpretation of the quote and how this is reflected in the artwork.

Task two was inspired by a phenomenon known as “near death experience.”

Teams were asked to consider the idea that consciousness could exist outside of the body and interpret this in a watercolor painting.

<p>The team from Sandy Creek High School finished in second place in the OCAY League Friday the 13th artistic and creative writing challenge. Pictured with their team coach, Caitlin Urlacher, right, are team members Cassie Mikels, Fiona Lewis, Cody Donahue, Emily Washburn, Katlin Allen, Chelsea Claflin, and Shelbe Philips.</p>

Additionally, each team created a show card describing the artwork and their interpretation of the phenomenon.

Triskaidekaphobia, the fear of the number 13, was the focus of each team’s third task of the competition.

Teams created a clay sculpture illustrating their interpretation of the superstition and crafted a description of their idea of Triskaidekaphobia and how they represented this idea in the artwork.

For the fourth task of the competition each team was given the same brief description of the study of Astrology and asked to create an acrylic painting of an astrological phenomenon and describe the relationship between the phenomena and the event depicted in the artwork.

<p>Finishing in third place in the fourth and final OCAY League challenge of the 2011-2012 school year was the team from Mexico High School. Coached by Bill Coughlin, right, the team members are, left to right: Hannah West, Samantha Gaudet, Joshua VanAlystyne, Ashley Santmyer, Courtney Leo, Brianna Santmyer, and Kristen Hall.</p>

A panel of guest judges with professional experience in art, design, and writing were invited to review the four mediums (pencil, watercolor, acrylic, and sculpture) and accompanying show cards for originality, creativity, technique, impact, appeal, and grammar.

Awarded first place and a gold medal was the team from Oswego High School.

The second place, silver medal was awarded to Sandy Creek.

The third place, bronze medal went to the team from Mexico High School.

OCAY League was organized in the spring of 1997 with the idea that academics merit a standing comparable to athletics.

<p>Megan Moberg from Paul V. Moore High School in Central Square works on a pencil drawing during the final OCAY League challenge of the school year. The pencil drawing, entitled Insanity, represents her team’s depiction of poet T.S. Eliot’s quote “Anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity.” </p>

Students’ academic skills are challenged and showcased in a wide variety of competitive events that emphasize scholastic excellence, team building, leadership, and creativity.

A particular strength of the league is its emphasis on cooperative problem solving.

OCAY is coordinated through the Oswego County BOCES’ Gifted and Talented Program service to local school districts.

<p>Mexico High School team member Samantha Gaudet works on a sculpture during the recent OCAY League event that’s representative of Triskaidekaphobia or the fear of the number 13. The piece, entitled “The Fear Itself,” depicts the power of fear and that fear is not just a condition for some people, but a way of life. The hollow face symbolizes physical exhaustion and mental paralyzation while the veins symbolize stress and anxiety.</p>