Three Middletown students receive art awards

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Three Middletown students placed in the National Arts Program® Awards in January.

Geonne Kline of Middletown took first place with her work, “Once Upon a Dragon Nightmare,” works on paper for the teen category. Mia Krikesium of Middletown followed with second place in the teen category with her photography work, “Niagra Falls.” Sonya Hadley of Middletown took third in the youth under 12 category for her painting, “Human Skin.”

Artists young and old, professional and amateur participated in the 23rd Annual National Arts Program Awards Ceremony Jan. 25 at Capital Community College.

A diverse group of more than 300 artists using a wide array of visual mediums showed their talent and contributed to community building through one of the largest regional arts events, according to a press release.

Held at Capital Community College’s Centinel Hill Hall auditorium, the winning artists from across Middlesex and Hartford counties, along with their families and friends, were treated to a private jazz trio and piano concert, as well as original poetry readings all to honor their artistic contributions.

Southington resident Edward Zinowko came home with Best in Show for his wood sculpture “Butterfly,” which was entered in the intermediate adult category. First Place winner in the Professional category went to New Britain resident Ray Shaw for his photograph “Jovan.”

Members of the Connecticut-based Free Poets Collective recited original “ekphrastic” poems inspired by some of the winning pieces of art. Ekphrastic poems are often inspired by visual images — usually paintings, drawings, photographs, or sculpture — variously to interpret, inhabit, confront, or speak with the works of art.

Judges for this year’s artwork included:; Patricia A. Johnson, director of community building and neighborhood development projects, Walker, Ed Johnetta Miller, renowned artist and teacher; JoAnne Bauer, prize-winning poet and artist; Andres Chaparro, artist and Manager in the City of Hartford Cultural Affairs Office and Jackie Coleman, Interim Executive Director for Hartford Performs and Senior Executive Advisor for the Arts for Hartford Public Schools.

This is an annual event and contest which is underwritten in part by the National Arts Foundation. There is no entry fee, and individuals at all levels of experience are encouraged to enter. Community Renewal Team has been the sponsor of this program that celebrates arts and culture for 23 years.