‘Art of Conservation’ exhibit showcases art contest winners

—Art by Lucy Thompson

This Saturday, March 19, the Chilmark library will host an exhibition of winning works from “The Art of Conservation,” a high school art competition sponsored by the Vineyard Conservation Society (VCS). This year’s theme focused on waste and waste reduction.

This year was the third annual contest in which students create art inspired by environmental issues. “There are no formal categories, but kids usually do photos, paintings, drawings, sculptures, with some other things occasionally, like digital design or video,” Jeremy Houser of VCS said. “We usually give them a theme. This year was waste; last year was about water issues.”

In an email to The Times, Joan Malkin of VCS said, “To ensure a healthy future for our Island’s land, life, and water, we need to make responsible choices that reduce waste, and convince others to do the same; reduce and recycle to preserve and protect. The Vineyard’s natural resources hang in the balance.”

The VCS’s call to artists asked, “Through the eye of the artist, what do waste and its consequences look like? Let your artistic expression inspire others to make responsible choices here at home and across the planet.”

Ms. Malkin said the contest was well-received in Island schools, thanks to support from art teachers Chris Baer at MVRHS and Ken Vincent at MVPCS. VCS sent representatives to the schools to encourage participation and discuss the environmental issues surrounding the contest. “This year — with the plastic bag ban in the offing — it was very easy to discuss the concept of waste and its relevance to our Island,” Ms. Malkin said.

Students submitted 47 entries this year. Pieces were judged by local artists Nancy Shaw Cramer, Alison Shaw, and Luanne Johnson, who were asked to score works based on theme, originality, creativity, professionalism, and overall impression. Three first-prize winners, Jamilyn Joseph, Lucy Thompson, and Astrid Tilton, were awarded $100 cash prizes. Six others, Monica Carroll, Isabel Crawford, Gus Hoy, Maisie Jarrell, Adelaide Keene, and Angela Mello, received special distinctions for their work and gift certificates to local coffee shops. The winning works will be on display at the Chilmark library.

The exhibit will be open from noon to 5:30 pm. Admission is free. For more information, call 508-693-9588 or email info@vineyardconservation.org.