The sixth biennial symposium Saturday at HFM BOCES got 18 entries in its first art contest on the suffrage movement and women’s activism for middle and high school students in Fulton, Montgomery and Hamilton counties. Last year’s trial of an essay contest got few entrants.
“We wanted to add another dimension to the symposium,” said Barbara Keffit, co-chairman of the art contest. “We wanted to get more young women interested in women’s organizations and understanding why they have rights because of all the women before them.”
Paula Beach of Mayfield received the high school first-place prize of $100 in the juried contest and the $25 People’s Choice award, chosen by the symposium participants, for her “Woman Power,” reminiscent of World War II’s Rosie the Riveter. The second-place prize of $50 for high schoolers went to Allie Hadley of Broadalbin-Perth for her “Women of the World Unite,” which used layered symbols and techniques.
In the middle school category, the $100 first-place prize was shared by Katelyn Martes and Alexia Rivera, both of Wilbur H. Lynch Literacy Academy, Amsterdam, for their three-dimensional “Around the World We Stand Together.” Winning the second-place prize of $50 was Jenna Scribner of Lake Pleasant Central School District, Speculator, for her “Votes for Women,” a drawing of two of the most important figures in the suffrage movement.
Receiving special recognition was “Collage” by high schoolers Hannah Lewis, Hannah Scott, Stella Williams, Kristianna Battisti, Zariah Hentnik and Meaghan MacDougall as “a great example of women working together to create an effective message using good design and interesting images,” said Patsy Suydam, the other co-chairman of the art contest. The work could not compete because it was a class project and teacher assisted.
Each artist had to write briefly about her work.
The contest was juried by Phyllis Lapi, a painter and co-owner of Picture Perfect, a fine art gallery and custom framing business in Canajoharie.
Joan Monk of Yorktown, Westchester County, who has taught prekindergarten through graduate school, said she thought the art was “fabulous” and was impressed with the research the girls did.
“I was impressed that the young people would be focused on suffrage and women’s rights,” said Christine Heller of Cooperstown.
“I love it that the young people expressed an interest in women’s history and women’s rights,” said Susan Goodier of Utica.
According to a news release, the artwork could highlight “New York’s state suffragists, votes for women, suffrage as a moment in history, female activists of the past and present, or just general inspirations to activism for women.”