While many were splashing around in the Lumber River, more than a dozen local youngsters had their art celebrated during the recent third annual Chalk Banks Challenge.
As part of the Challenge’s nature-related activities for children, the event featured an art contest which invited local elementary school students to submit their river-inspired art for consideration.
Thirteen students, many from Washington Park Elementary School, entered to compete for more than $250 in prizes.
The students art included depictions of wild forest creatures, the rushing river and more than a few bright sunrises.
Challenge organizer Whit Gibson said that he was bowled over by the quality of the submissions.
“They were all really fantastic. I was impressed by how seriously they took the contest and with how great a lot of the paintings are,” Gibson said before announcing the results of the contest.
Washington Park Elementary School art teacher Morgan Cain was also in attendance Saturday to see her students rewarded for their efforts.
Several students took the time to personally thank Cain for getting them involved in the arts, including overall contest points leader Markallis Jones.
“I wanted to thank Miss Cain for teaching me,” said Jones, a fifth grader.
Called “Unstoppable Bear,” Jones’ charcoal depiction of a large bear hunting fish received attention from several passers-by throughout the day on Saturday.
“I never thought I would be able to do this,” Jones said, admitting that the act of creating the artwork did not take very long. “I would say only about two minutes.”
At first Jones said that he was going to simply draw a flowing river, “but I figured everyone would be doing that.”
With the addition of the bear Jones artwork drew top marks from the contest’s three judges, including Charlotte Thompson.
“All of (the submissions) had something to like,” Thompson said.
Thompson judged the art while it was on display at the Scotland County Cooperative Extension office earlier this month.
“It is good to see so many interested in the arts,” Thompson added.
Following the announcement of the contest winners, Cain encouraged all of the parents in attendance to support their children’s interest and continued involvement in the arts.
“Let them keep doing it,” Cain said.
Winner: Marchriste Robinson - “Duck at Sunset”
Second Place: Hayden Strikland - “At the River”
Third place (tie): Zebulen Jenkinson - “Mountain River”
Third place (tie): Timothy Locklear - “Eager Beaver”
Winner: Bryson West - “Duck with Fish”
Second Place: Mahalia Galbreath - “Bears, Beavers and Ducks”
Third place: Ashtie Barzinji - “Dinner for Bear”
Winner: Alexis Sabin - “Mallard Family”
Second Place: Joshua Gainey - “Bears at River”
Winner: Markallis Jones - “Unstoppable Bear”
Second Place: Demetrius Avery - “River Life”
Third place (tie): Heaven Graham - “Ducks in a Row”
Third place (tie): Treyvon Adams - “Beavers make a Home”