Diocesan News

Students’ Works a Portrait of Joy at Tablet’s Easter Art Contest

The winners of The Tablet’s 2019 Easter art contest, themed “Christ is Risen.” (Photos: Allyson Escobar)

For some kids and teens in the Brooklyn Diocese, the joy of Easter was in their art.

That spirit was on display at The Tablet’s 12th annual Christ Is Risen Easter art contest on May 15 in Dyker Heights. The awards ceremony, co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Archbishop John Hughes Council No. 481, was held at the council’s center.

Grand Knight Agostino Iallonardo, fellow knights and Tablet staff welcomed the students, faculty and family members as they took pictures next to the winning artwork on display.

“It’s been a tremendous amount of participation over the years, and I am grateful that the youth of today are so interested in being a part of this,” Iallonardo said. “We even have many repeat winners.”

At the beginning of the ceremony, guests were led in prayer by Father Guy Sbordone, pastor of St. Frances Cabrini, Bath Beach.

Christ is Risen Art Contest 2019 winners. (Photo: Allyson Escobar)

“Looking at the beauty of the creation of these children, certainly one of the images that catches your eye right away is the contrast of darkness and light,” Father Sbordone said. “This art reminds us of the glory of Jesus and His triumph over death, and it is a great reminder to us of the power of the resurrection. That is what Easter is all about for us.”

As the young winners were called by the event’s emcee, Tablet Editor Emeritus Ed Wilkinson, they smiled while their biggest fans took their picture: their family. After the conclusion of awards, guests networked and enjoyed treats and coffee sponsored by the knights.

More than 500 entrees from 28 different schools and parishes were a part of competition. Judges from different editorial departments, including The Tablet, Currents News and Nuestra Voz, spent hours in the “judging room” debating which student deserved to take home the winning title. Three students were repeat winners and the sixth-grade category ended up in a tie.

“I feel so honored when I win,” said David Metreveli, a sixth-grader at St. Peter Catholic Academy in Bensonhurst, who has won the art contest three times. His detailed portrait of Jesus Christ finished in a first-place tie. “My teacher always encourages me to enter, and I enjoy doing portraits.”

David’s mother, Maia Ninoshvili, shared her pride for her son, saying that he’s entered and won many local art contests in the city. She hopes that with his talent, he will go into art professionally.  

Jeselle Cunningham, 15, said her entry was inspired by the poster for “Wicked,” the Broadway musical, portraying the main characters Elphaba and Glinda. “I stayed up late drawing this; I never expected to actually win,” she said.

Cunningham won the contest in the high school category with her best friend, Cristina Fernandez. Both are sophomores at St. Francis Prep, Fresh Meadows, where they’re taking advanced art classes.

“I was inspired by the story of Mary Magdalene discovering Jesus’ empty tomb, and I wanted to show the light shining down on the tomb,” Fernandez, 15, said.

The Tablet thanks all the schools that participated this year including: Bishop Kearney H.S., Bensonhurst; Fontbonne Hall Academy, Bay Ridge; St. Agnes Academic H.S., College Point; and St. Francis Preparatory School, Fresh Meadows. Sixteen Catholic academies throughout Brooklyn and Queens sent student entries, as well as six parishes and two public schools.

Eva Iriarte, a fourth-grader from St. Matthias Catholic Academy in Ridgewood, was all smiles as she went up to receive her certificate. Her whole family, as well as her school art teacher, showed their proud support at this event.

“I’d really like to be an artist one day,” she said.

Contributing to this report was Allyson Escobar

And the Winners Are…


Elementary Schools

  • First Grade — Leon Lawrence, St. Gregory the Great Catholic Academy, Crown Heights
  • Second Grade — Noah Septama, Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy, Gravesend
  • Third Grade — Erica Niedermeyer, Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy, Douglaston
  • Fourth Grade — Eva Iriarte, St. Matthias Catholic Academy, Ridgewood
  • Fifth Grade — Cindy Betancourt, St. Sebastian Catholic Academy, Woodside
  • Sixth Grade — tie, David Metreveli, St. Peter Catholic Academy, Bensonhurst and Bath Beach and Lorelei Barahona, St. Sebastian Catholic Academy, Woodside
  • Seventh Grade — Mary Campbell, Holy Angels Catholic Academy, Bay Ridge
  • Eighth Grade — Sophia Imbriale, Holy Angels Catholic Academy, Bay Ridge

High School

  • First Place — Coralis Rivera, All Saints Church, Williamsburg
  • Second Place —  Cristina Fernandez, St. Francis Preparatory School, Fresh Meadows
  • Third Place — Jeselle A. Cunningham, St. Francis Preparatory School


Honorable Mentions, High School:


Angelina Valentino,  St. Francis Prep, Fresh Meadows; Stephanie Geborde; George Stanciu,


Honorable Mentions, Elementary:


Second Grade – Ruthveu Fortune, St. Gregory the Great Catholic Academy

Third Grade – Caitlin Cudworth, P.S. 102

Fourth Grade – Daniella Flores, St. Adalbert Catholic Academy; Denise Annang, Holy Angels Catholic Academy; Gianna Cappucci, Mary Queen of Heaven

Fifth Grade –Sanaa Allen, St. Rose of Lima; Anthony Liu, Holy Angels Catholic Academy

Sixth Grade – Erandy Martinez, Holy Angels; Keyli Sanchez, St. Theresa Parish, Woodside; Sarah Day, St. Rose of Lima Catholic Academy