Young artists saluted in ‘My Military Family’ contest



by Kimberly L. Wright
Air University Public Affairs


12/17/2010 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- The Airman and Family Readiness Center conducted the 'My Military Family' art contest to mark Month of the Military Family in November. The contest winners and their proud parents gathered Dec. 10 at the center to receive prizes and praises for a job well done.

Entries were divided into three categories - category 1, age 4-6; category 2, ages 7-9; and category 3, ages 10-12, according to Chloe Gibbs, information and referral consultant at the Airman and Family Readiness Center. The center selected nine winners, three in each category.

Artists with first-place entries received a free kid's lunch at the Officers' Club, two Rave movie tickets and a $20 AAFES gift card. Artists whose entries earned second place took home three free games of bowling and two Rave movie tickets. Third-place entries earned their artists three free games of bowling.

More than 250 elementary school-aged children of military parents submitted art to the contest. All received a free game of bowling from the base bowling centers.
All the young artists who participated in this contest will be entered in the Armed Service YMCA art contest, open to eligible children of U.S. active duty or retired servicemembers. Last year, local art contest participant Lorenzo Williams gained national attention as one of 12 national winners, and his art was displayed in Washington, D.C.

One of this year's first-place winners, Antonio Durham, drew stylistic inspiration for his art from anime and spiritual inspiration from his parents.

"I based it on my mom and my dad who are in the Air Force," he said.

All the students at Maxwell Elementary School submitted entries as part of the art competition, said Mona Dunson, art teacher at Maxwell Elementary School, who was on hand for the awards presentation. She told the children she encouraged them to enter art contests because as a youth she entered one and it "changed my life."

Derrick Sanders of the Airman and Family Readiness Center expressed his appreciation to the students for the "talent and emotion they put into the artwork. ... I'm always touched to see their artwork, their vision."

The following children, all from Maxwell Elementary School, earned prizes for their entries:

First place:
Isaac Hale, category 1
Trip Carroll, category 2
Antonio Durham, category 3

Second place:
Samantha Spence, category 1
Hannah Chaffee, category 2
Kyle Burgh, category 3

Third place:
Darius Black, category 1
Elijah Alexander, category 2
Ryan Ranere, category 3