Diocesan News

‘Christ Is Risen’ in the Artwork of Catholic School Students Across the Diocese

Photo: Christ is Risen Art Contest Winners and Honorable Mentions.

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — Wednesday, April 10, was a big night for students from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Academy in South Ozone Park, St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy in Belle Harbor, and St. Patrick Catholic Academy in Bay Ridge.

Each of those schools had multiple winners in The Tablet’s “Christ Is Risen”’ art contest. Our Lady of Perpetual Help had three winners, and St. Francis de Sales and St. Patrick each had two.

The annual art contest has become a much-anticipated tradition of the Easter season. Students use their artistic gifts to create myriad artworks that celebrate the glory of Christ’s resurrection. Some dapple their canvases with paint, others expertly use charcoal for their creations, and still others prefer to demonstrate their skills through traditional mosaic art.

This year, nearly 200 entries poured into The Tablet’s office. The colorful pieces of artwork were submitted by students from Catholic academies, high schools, and parishes throughout the Diocese of Brooklyn. Once again, handcrafted as labors of love, the young artists’ creations showcased their faith and devotion to Christ’s miraculous resurrection three days after His crucifixion.

For nearly 20 years, The Tablet has collaborated with the Archbishop John Hughes Knights of Columbus Council No. 481. It started when The Tablet’s Editor Emeritus Ed Wilkinson formed a camaraderie with then-Grand Marshal of the Knights Camillo Casano, wherein the Knights would generously donate awards and cash prizes to students who crafted faith-based artwork inspired from Scriptures.

“The Tablet’s Easter art contest is a great opportunity to evangelize,” explained Wilkinson. “It reinforces the message the students learn in school — that Jesus is truly risen. It also encourages them to hone their artistic skills and talents. It’s a great opportunity for The Tablet to work hand in hand with our schools to teach the meaning of Catholicism.”

Father Guy Sbordone, the chaplain for the John Hughes Council, was on hand to offer the opening prayer and celebrate the winners. He asked the students what motivated them to create their artwork. “Did you read the Bible, did you watch an Easter movie, what gave you the inspiration to create such beautiful art?” 

Seventh grade winner Madison Summerhill, whose intricate painting featured Jesus rising on a hill before a multitude watching below, answered by saying, “What inspired me was watching the movie ‘The Passion of the Christ’ with Mel Gibson about when Jesus suffered for us to save us from our sins. I wanted to do Him justice by making a portrait of Him rising from the crowd.”

Knights Grand Marshal Vincent DiBenedetto said that the contest was all about the children. “We are very happy to host these students for The Tablet, and I thank everyone because it is very important to recognize Christ has risen for Easter instead of the Easter eggs and bunny rabbits. The beautiful artwork these kids created celebrates Christ’s resurrection.” 

Also attending to hand out the award certificates and prizes were Knights Financial Secretary Joe Sbarra and Faith Director Steve Bilardi. Sbarra added, “It is an honor for us to have been participating in this event for the past 20 years. We’re always impressed with the creativity of these children and we believe that they have a bright future ahead of them.”

St. Francis de Sales art teacher Gina Todd — whose own daughter, Caleigh Todd, had won the contest when she was a sixth grader at St. Rose of Lima — was especially proud of her students, first grade winner Noah McGuinness and first grade honorable mention Grace Gallagher. “The kids were very excited about this contest and it really motivated them to create their art.”

Fifth grade winner Nelly Antoun said that she was inspired to create her drawing of Jesus standing on the hill with his arms wide open by Christ’s resurrection “and the hope, renewal and love that Easter represents.”

St. Francis Prep 11th grader Eleni Kougiemitros won her third overall award for a stunning charcoal canvas painting of Jesus rising from the tomb. “I just find so much joy doing traditional art and I love how this contest gives me the opportunity to showcase my work. I’m deeply grateful,” she added.

Congratulations to all the participants, honorable mentions, and winners

2024 Christ Is Risen Art Contest Winners

First Grade

Winner: Noah McGuinness

St. Francis de Sales 

Honorable Mention: Grace Gallagher

St. Francis de Sales

Second Grade

Winner: Rayen Goodrich

Resurrection Ascension Catholic Academy

Third Grade

Winner: Annalise Ruddy

Sacred Heart Catholic Academy, Cambria Heights

Honorable Mention: Caleigh Vera

St. Patrick’s Catholic Academy 

Fourth Grade

Winner: Juliette Perry

St. Patrick’s Catholic Academy

Honorable Mention: Katherine Ben-Jacob

St. Luke School

Fifth Grade

Winner: Nelly Antoun

St. Peter Catholic Academy

Sixth Grade

Winner: Vivian Adriana Vargas

Our Lady of Martyrs Catholic Academy, Forest Hills 

Honorable Mention: Caelyn Naraine

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Academy

Seventh Grade

Winner: Kailani Rosario

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Academy

Honorable Mention: Noah Myles

St. Stanislaus-Kostka Catholic Academy, Queens 

Eighth Grade

Winner: Nadia Daniel

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Academy

Ninth Grade

Winner: Madison Summerville 

Christ the King High School 

Eleventh Grade

Winner: Eleni Kougiemitros 

St. Francis Prep High School

Twelfth Grade

Winner: Moses Ojo 

Midwood High School