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Reception and awards ceremony for SAD 27/UMFK 125th Anniversary art contest is Tuesday, March 23

March 19, 2004


The University of Maine at Fort Kent Blake Library will host a public reception and awards ceremony on Tuesday, March 23, beginning at 5:00 p.m. in the library's art gallery. The exhibit of works being featured were completed by SAD 27 art students, who recently participated in a district-wide art contest with a set theme of UMFK's 125th anniversary.

The Blake Library Gallery will display the winning art created by the local students in grades five through twelve, who are joining in the celebration of UMFK's milestone celebration. The opening and awards ceremony will be held between 5:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on March 23. The exhibit will begin on March 22 and continue through April 1.

Organized by Sofia Birden, gallery curator at UMFK's Blake Library, the contest was designed to involve the local community, particularly the youth of the area in the ongoing year-long anniversary at the university. Birden enlisted the help of high school art teacher, Doug Clapp, and middle school art teacher, Mary Beth Jackson.

"I really could not have done this without their help. Both Doug Clapp and Mary Beth Jackson were vital to getting this project off the ground," said Birden. "I had wanted to bring the public school community into the gallery for a long time. I thought UMFK's 125th anniversary would be a great way to do this."

The contest was open to students in both the middle and high school grade levels in the SAD 27 school district. Entries have been organized primarily through the art classes taught at the high school and elementary schools by Clapp and Jackson.

For purposes of judging the entries, the grade levels have been separated into two groups: fifth through eighth grades and ninth through twelfth grades.

First prize in each group is a $50 gift certificate to the University bookstore, second prize is a $25 gift certificate, and third prize is a piece of UMFK 125th anniversary memorabilia.

Judges will award a single grand prize to the best piece of art from the combined divisions. The grand prize winner's artwork will be placed on display indefinitely and will be used in a UMFK publication.

Because the exhibit is celebrating UMFK's 125th anniversary, the students' work reflects this theme, and judging criteria required the students to display not only artistic ability but also thematic ability.

A wide array of thematic choices in and around UMFK's 125 years of existence was available to the students. Criteria can be viewed and additional information obtained at

Judges for the contest were Priscilla Daigle, UMFK education instructor, local artist and entrepreneur; Scott Voisine, director of student services at UMFK and local artist; and Jason Parent, UMFK's university relations director and chairperson of the 125th anniversary committee.

"I am thankful for the judges' time and effort they are giving to this project," stated Birden.

The judges' selections will be made known and prizes awarded at the reception and show opening on Tuesday, March 23. The public is invited and encouraged to attend the event.

The exhibit may also be viewed during regular library hours through April 1. For more information, contact Birden at 834-7527.