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Six SAD 27 students honored for artwork themed on UMFK 125th Anniversary

March 26, 2004


Six SAD 27 students were honored for their artwork during a public reception and awards ceremony on Tuesday, March 23, at the University of Maine at Fort Kent Blake Library art gallery.

The top three students at the middle and high school levels were presented gifts at the official opening for an exhibit of works completed by area students, who recently participated in a district-wide art contest with a set theme of UMFK's 125th anniversary. There were nearly 100 young artists participating in the contest

The top three students in the middle school division were Joseph Ouellette, a fifth grader at St. Francis Elementary School whose drawing entitled "The Real King" won third place. Second place honors in the fifth through eighth grade category went to Keisha Ouellette, an eighth grader at Fort Kent Elementary School who completed a piece entitled "UMFK Education". First place in the middle school competition was awarded to Lloyd Guerrette, a seventh grader at St. Francis Elementary, for his work entitled "Waneta T. Blake".

In the high school age division, the top three honors went to Community High School students Denice Wood, a tenth grader who took home third place; Lila Albert, an eleventh grader who won second; and Gabrielle Potvin, who won first place honors, as well as best of show for her work.

The Blake Library Gallery will display the winning and honorable mention art, created by the local students in grades five through twelve, 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 were 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 had been separated into two groups: fifth through eighth grades and ninth through twelfth grades.

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

Judges awarded the single grand prize to Gabrielle Potvin 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 gave to this project," stated Birden.

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