May 21, 2018
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Public encouraged to enjoy and become educated by viewing student artwork

By Joni Averill

Folks in our area have the opportunity to learn how today’s high school students approach the world of art by attending the Maine Federation of Women’s Clubs District Three annual High School Art Contest and Show.

The show is open to the public, free of charge,  from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at the Masonic Lodge on Hamilton Drive in Pittsfield.

Raejean Hersey, president of District Three of the MFWC, reports judging for the contest will take place from 10 to 11 a.m. that day.

Agreeing to serve as judges this year are Terri deNatale of Pittsfield, Bobbi Tardif of Corinna and Milton Webber of Pittsfield.

This is the first year Terri, a highly regarded artist in her own right, has served as a judge for this event, she told me during a telephone interview.

She is looking forward to that opportunity and believes the show has much to offer everyone who attends.

“Not only do the people who view the art become educated in the capabilities of the young folks of our community,” Terri said, “but it also encourages expression in the arts,” and those who attend become “educated in the current tendencies or flow of the times, by viewing the artwork.”

Terri believes “there is a large number of really talented people in our district, and I encourage people to go to not only support them, but to learn the different ways people are expressing themselves in art.”

She said those who attend will be able “to see how people are progressing” in the arts.

“It is interesting,” she added, to see what the young artists are focusing on, “and the subject matter they are interested in.

“How people are expressing themselves in art is fascinating,” she added.

Attendance at the show will be “not only encouraging for the students, but entertaining” for those who attend.

“I think they will be better off for going and viewing it, and it will be a positive time for them,” she said.

Judges will award prizes for first, second and third places and one honorable mention.

The public will have an opportunity to vote for favorites through the People’s Choice Award.

“It’s incredible,” Raejean said of the artwork that is entered in this contest.

“Some of the judges, last year, made the comment that they have seen artwork that is almost beyond them.”

She hopes many people will come out and view the work as a way of offering their support for the efforts of these aspiring Maine artists.

The student artist who receives the district’s $100 first prize will have his or her work entered in the MFWC state art contest, which will be held during the organization’s Spring Convention May 12-13, at the Senator Inn in Augusta, where it will be judged against winners from the other three district contests. The state winner receives $175.

On the district level, the second-place award is $75, with $25 for third place and a gift certificate for honorable mention.

The district includes clubs in  Newport, Dexter, Hartland, Patten and Winterport and two each in Dover-Foxcroft and Pittsfield, Raejean explained, adding that club members contact their high schools to promote the contest.

For that reason, she continued, a student could enter from a town where there is no club but where a member resides, giving as an example Greenville.

Art departments can submit as many pieces as they wish, although the entries are limited to one per student.

Last year, there were 49 entries, which Raejean considers “a good participation.”

Entries for this contest include student artists from Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield, Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft, Piscataquis Community High School of Guilford, Greenville High School, Penquis Valley High School of Milo, Dexter High School, Nokomis Regional High School in Newport, Hampden Academy and Bangor High School.

Raejean reminds readers of the importance of maintaining art programs in the state’s high schools, and said club members are “trying to get as many people to come as possible” to attend the show because these young artists “need our support.”


Oops! My apologies to the Higgins family of Milo and Brooklin.

In Friday’s column expressing their gratitude for public support of 15-year-old Brandon Higgins, who is receiving treatment for a cancerous brain tumor, one error I made was compounded by an additional editing error, and I thank Brandon’s grandmother, Charlotte Higgins of Milo, for setting us all straight.

I had correctly written that Brandon’s dad is a 1986 graduate of PVHS, which is Penquis Valley High School in Milo, but that shortened version of the school name was incorrectly edited to read Piscataquis Valley High School.

My error was stating that Brandon’s mother is also a graduate of PVHS when, in fact, it is his aunt, Kim Higgins, who graduated from PVHS in 1997.

The Higgins family is most grateful for the support they are receiving from everyone in their very extended community, near and far.

Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402;

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