Helena-West Helena— The Delta Cultural Center will host its Annual Blues Heritage Youth Art Competition Reception, Tuesday, October 2, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., at the Depot Museum, 95 Missouri Street in historic downtown Helena. This year’s contest winners will also be announced. The public is invited. Admission is free. Refreshments will also be served.

First place winners in three divisions will be celebrated--kindergarten, middle school and high school age students. Student artist, Roosevelt Bridgett at Central High in Helena-West Helena, AR., is the first place 12th grade winner. Then, there’s Karmin Allen, a fifth grader at McCrory Elementary School in McCrory, AR. Jade Fahr was the winner in the middle school division. Jade is a 9th grader at Harrisburg Junior High School, Harrisburg, AR. And,

The work of young artists throughout the Delta--from Phillips, Monroe and St. Francis Counties to Woodruff, Poinsett and Clay Counties—even the works of students from Mississippi—including nearby Coahoma County, will be showcased during this long-awaited event.

“My congratulations to all the winners of the art contest,” said Stacy Hurst, director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. “It’s impressive to see so many young people sharing their talents with us.”

Approximately, 200 students entered pieces of artwork into the competition this year. All will be on display during the reception. And appropriately, it is no accident that the announcements, including that of “Honorable Mentions,” will be made during the week of the annual King Biscuit Blues Festival, also in Helena.

Copies of the winning works are published and reproduced as full-color posters and postcards. These reproductions will be made available to the public during the ceremony, and afterwards at the DCC’s Visitor’s Center free of cost. In addition, the DCC will award certificates of recognition to the three competition winners. They and their classroom teacher will also receive cash awards.

According to Dr. Kyle Miller, director of the DCC, the art submitted by Delta Youth was quite inspiring. “When you look at the body of work you can actually see the depth of creativity and the amount of effort that went into each one of the pieces,” he said.

Judging is done by local artists who rated the entries based on the students’ use of color, the creativity of the works and the clarity of theme. Sponsored by the Pillow Clinic in Helena-West Helena, this competition is a wonderful opportunity for students to express their creativity and celebrate a part of their rich cultural heritage.  
“These kids put their heart and soul into this. We encourage other students, teachers and the general community to come out and help us applaud the talent that will be on exhibit here,” Dr. Miller said. “All of them have represented the Arkansas Delta very well. We are immensely proud of each one and they should be very proud of their accomplishment,” he added.

For more information contact Richard Spilman, DCC education coordinator, at 870.338.4350, or richard.spilman@arkansas.gov. Visit the Delta Cultural Center at Facebook.com/DeltaCulturalCenter, or www.deltaculturalcenter.com.