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Posted: 04/17/13

Above, from left, junior Amanda Wilson, art instructor Lisa Wright and senior Lindsey Revoldt of Almont High School show off their winning works for the local VFW art contest. Below, Jenny Teller of the VFW presents a check to Romeo High School freshman Stephanie Melinte. Lewis Page, at right, is Melinte's art instructor.

(Observer photos by Chris Gray)

Almont student wins
local VFW art contest

Observer Staff Writer
      Betsy Ross may be credited with the creation of the U.S. flag, but an Almont student took that flag and its symbolism and ran with it.
       Amanda Wilson, an Almont High School junior, earned first place for her entry in the 2012-13 Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest, held by the Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW Post 2052.
       Her artwork will now move onto the state level of the contest. Should Wilson take first place, she will head to the nationals for the chance to win thousands in scholarship funds.
       Students in grades ninth-12th are asked to show their idea of patriotism through works of art for the contest. Each piece is judged on originality, presentation, patriotism, technique and clarity of ideas. For the district level, the pieces were judged by local artists Evelyn Raiter and Sharon Will.
       Rules include submitting non-digital art only and adhering to the Federal Flag Code when the U.S. flag is depicted.
       Jenny Teller, VFW 2052 Ladies Auxiliary senior vice-president, said the contest is important since students can express ideas of freedom and appreciation for those in the military.
       "It's always a pleasure to see that students are thinking about our country, what it takes to be a free country and to continue helping the world," she said.
       Teller said 39 students entered a piece this year, with Armada students providing submissions for the first time in the local contest's history.
       Wilson's first-place submission is a close-up of a waving U.S. flag and an eagle's head. The eagle is using its beak to hold a military identification necklace.
       "I had an eagle to represent freedom and I have a dog tag in the eagle's beak, and it's got the name of the soldier representing everyone who has died in the name of America," Wilson said.
       The judges said they chose Wilson's picture for first place because its simple graphics and bold colors provided strong visual impacts and symbolism.
       Wilson said she was surprised and excited to have her artwork move onto the state level.
       "It's unbelievable," she said. "It was unexpected . . . it means a lot."
       Second place went to Stephanie Melinte, a freshman at Romeo High School. Her piece had the flag and fireworks in the background with a silhouetted cityscape and the Statue of Liberty in the foreground. She said her artwork was inspired by her parents coming to the U.S. from Romania.
       "I put the fireworks for 4th of July, for our independence," she said.
       Judges agreed that her piece highlighted the freedom found in the U.S. due to Melinte's heritage.
       Lindsey Revoldt, a senior at Almont High School, took third place this year. Her piece had a blue, starry background with an eagle flying behind a red banner that reads "freedom."
       "I've done more complicated things in past years, and I wanted to show freedom for our entire country in a simple way," Revoldt said.
       Judges called her design "bold" and "well-executed."
       Honorable mentions include Nicole Dean, Carson Deel, Aaron Stanek and Sarah Ziehm of Almont and Natalie Delcourt and Jack Engwall of Romeo.
       The first place winner receives a $100 scholarship, while second place earns $75 and third place wins $50. When advancing to the states, first place wins $1,100, second place receives $850 and third place earns $600.
       The first place state winner advances to the national level to compete against 50 other entries, one for each state and the District of Columbia. Should Wilson's entry make it to the national level, she has a chance of winning anywhere from $500 to $10,000 in scholarships.
       In addition to the scholarship, first place receives a plaque and is provided airfare and lodging to attend the Ladies Auxiliary National Convention. The winning piece is also used on the cover of the Ladies Auxiliary VFW magazine and website.

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