2018 Mayor’s Christmas Card Contest

2018 Mayor’s Christmas Card Contest
2018 Mayor’s Christmas Card Contest Lafayette Park International Elementary School student Abigail Kettlewell smiled proudly as she held up her award-winning Christmas card design.
Abigail’s creative design featured a snowman donning a striped scarf, a polka dotted hat, and red mittens. Abigail wrote the words “Merry Christmas” below the snowman, and topped it off with a candy cane.
The Lafayette Park fourth-grader earned first place in the 2018 Mayor’s Christmas Card Contest. The annual contest, open to all fourth-grade students in Kokomo School Corporation, is a long-standing holiday tradition for Kokomo Schools, the mayor and his staff, and the Kokomo Community Arts Commission.
Local students submitted approximately 100 designs this year. Kokomo Community Arts Commission members selected the finalists, and forwarded them to Mayor Greg Goodnight to select the winners. 
Abigail’s design will become the mayor’s official Christmas card this year and will be sent to local, state, and federal officials. Mayor Goodnight said he even would send cards to the Vice President and President of the United States.
Abigail said she chose to depict the snowman because snowmen are popular all through the winter, especially during the holidays.
“It took me a long time to draw the snowman,” Abigail explained. “I wanted it to be perfect.”
Upon being selected as the Christmas Card contest winner, Abigail had four words to describe her feelings: “It is pretty amazing.”
Mayor Goodnight explained that he loves seeing the student artwork.
“Selecting the winner of the Christmas Card Contest is one of the great things about the holiday season,” Mayor Goodnight noted. “I love the Christmas Card contest because it reminds me of the joy that art brings to our lives. Our local students are extremely talented, and I appreciate the art teachers who encourage student creativity.”
This year’s other finalists included Payton Smith, 2nd Place, Lafayette Park International Elementary School; Suniaire E. Sharp, 3rd Place, Wallace Elementary School of Integrated Arts; Eli Roe, 4th Place, Lafayette Park International Elementary School; Apryl D. Naquin, Honorable Mention, Lafayette Park International Elementary School; Lilian Alter, Honorable Mention, Wallace Elementary School of Integrated Arts; Journey Hile, Honorable Mention, Lafayette Park International Elementary School; and Iris Harlan, Honorable Mention, Wallace Elementary School of Integrated Arts.
All 100 of the contest submissions will be displayed at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library’s downtown branch until the end of December.
Additionally, Kokomo School Corporation Superintendent Dr. Jeff Hauswald soon will select his official Christmas card from the finalists. The winning design will appear on cards sent to superintendents across the state.
Second-place winner Payton Smith sketched an image of a reindeer, elf, and Santa standing side-by-side, with the words “Hope & Joy” written above their heads.
“My sister helped me with the idea,” Payton explained. “But I drew them in my unique style. It took me three days to finish the card.”
Payton paused before adding, “I’m proud of my work.”
Third-place winner Suniaire E. Sharp’s card featured a penguin in a Santa hat standing in the snow, with a smiling moon in the background.
“I decided to draw a penguin because it was something unique,” Suniaire noted. “I normally draw digitally, but I had to draw this card on pencil and paper. It wasn’t that hard. It literally took me five minutes.”
Suniaire’s friend, and fellow Christmas Card contest finalist, Lilian Alter added: “Suniaire is a really good artist!” 
Suniaire admitted she did not expect to earn finalist honors in this contest.
“When I found out I was a finalist, I think I was excited and shocked at the same time,” Suniaire said.
Fourth-place winner Eli Roe’s card was inspired by a Santa Claus card his art teacher shared with him. 
“I liked the Santa Claus, but I wanted to make it original to me,” Eli explained.
The Lafayette Park student drew Santa Claus riding in a sleigh with Christmas gifts and a Christmas tree. Santa is waving and exclaiming “Ho! Ho! Ho!”. In the sleigh, Eli wrote “Happy Holidays Kokomo, IN”. 
Eli felt very happy when he found out his card had been selected as a finalist.
“I have never done something so big with my art,” Eli added.
Drawing is a hobby for Eli; he explained that he spends a great deal of time sketching cartoon characters.
Apryl Naquin earned Honorable Mention honors for her card, which featured an elf holding a sign that says “Joy,” along with a candy cane, and a plate of cookies. Above that scene, Apryl wrote “Happy Holidays.”
“I chose to write that because not everyone celebrates Christmas,” Apryl explained.
The Lafayette Park student was “happy, and kind of scared, too” when she learned that she was a finalist.
Wallace student Lilian Alter found it difficult to believe she had earned finalist honors.
“I was freaking out when I learned I was a finalist,” Lilian noted. “For the next week, I couldn’t stop talking about it.”
Lilian earned Honorable Mention for her card, which depicted a reindeer with some special details. Lilian gave her reindeer a scarf and peppermint eyes, but felt it wasn’t complete.
“I totally thought it needed something more, so I added a tangle of lights to its antlers,” Lilian noted. “I chose the reindeer because I wanted to draw something outside the box, but not too far outside the box.”
Lilian has no doubt that her family is proud of her achievement, especially her mom, who keeps all of Lilian’s drawings.
“My mom still has my old, not even stick figure drawings,” Lilian added. “They were just blobs of paint on paper. My mom has them framed at home.”
Journey Hile’s Christmas Card contest design brought back fond childhood memories. Journey earned Honorable Mention for her card, which featured a snowman with a top hat, button eyes, a striped scarf, and flower buttons. Snowflakes and candy canes fell from the sky, and “happy holidays” was scrawled beneath the snowman.
“I picked a snowman because it reminded me of winters when I was little, and we still had our old dog,” Journey explained. “We would all build snowmen together when it snowed outside.”
Wallace student Iris Harlan chose a unique design for her Christmas card; she earned Honorable Mention for her card, which featured a gingerbread house with candy canes.
“I just thought of that design because I built a gingerbread house once,” Iris noted. “I usually draw flowers, so it was kind of hard to draw the details on my gingerbread house. It didn’t take long to draw… maybe two class periods.”
During the ceremony, Mayor Goodnight quoted French painter and sculptor Henri Matisse who said, “Creativity takes courage.”
“Everyone who has children knows how brave they can be, but too often, along the way to becoming us boring adults, we sometimes lose that courage to create,” Mayor Goodnight said. “We start playing it safe because we fear rejection or judgment. That’s partly why I love this program so much, why it’s one of the favorite things I do each year. It reminds me of the joy that art can bring, how art can brighten an entire city, and put a smile on all of our faces.”
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