WJCC students pick up top marks in Sen. Monty Mason's annual art contest

Staff Writer

Students from Clara Byrd Baker Elementary School and Lois Hornsby Middle School took top honors in an annual contest that had more than 100 entries in four age groups.

Now in its fifth year, the contest, sponsored by Sen. Monty Mason (D-Williamsburg), has been held every year since Mason was elected delegate, according to a news release from the senator.

“The importance of arts in society is shown with the current focus on STEAM, education, science, technology, engineering, arts and math and the important role these skills play in the future of our country,” Mason said in the release.

Students from Greater Williamsburg beat out the competition in the rest of Mason’s district, which includes parts of Hampton, Suffolk, Newport News, James City, York and all of Williamsburg.

Three students from Clara Byrd Baker Elementary School won in their age groups, the release said. Third-grader Gabriella Tackett won the kindergarten to third-grade group with her depiction of a windmill in oil pastels.

There was a tie in the fourth and fifth-grade group. Fourth-grader Jamie Benn Fratter and fifth-grader Stella Richardson of Clara Byrd Baker tied in their age group, according to the release. Fratter’s acrylic painting of “Girls in the city” grasped judges as did Richardson’s textured multimedia depiction of a tree swing.

One student from Hornsby Middle School won in the contest as well, the release said. Sixth-grader Kaitlyn Shaw created a more abstract artwork using multimedia. Shaw won the sixth to eighth-grade range.

All of the artwork Mason’s office received was judged by a panel of local artists Bob Oller, a member of Virginia’s Arts Commission, Terry Buntrock as well as William and Mary adjunct lecturer Sarah Balascio, according to the release.

Roberts can be reached at 757-604-1329, by email at srobertsjr@vagazette.com and on Twitter @SPRobertsJr.

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