DYKER HEIGHTS — Student winners from across the Diocese of Brooklyn and their families gathered at the Archbishop John Hughes Knights of Columbus Council on Jan. 17 for an awards ceremony and reception honoring their entries in The Tablet’s annual “Keep Christ in Christmas” Art Contest.
Before the certificates and cash prizes were handed out, students and their families took time to browse the other winning art entries and explain how they created their submissions.
Fifth-grade winner, Vincent Randazzese from St. Bernadette Catholic Academy, described how he stuck with the theme of the contest.
“I drew Santa’s sleigh because that’s like Christmas. Then I drew Jesus,” he said. “And on the presents, I wrote some prayers.”
Mother of sixth-grade winner Olivia Nelson from Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy, Arlene Nelson, works for the Department of Corrections and said she was on her way home from her shift when she got word last week that her daughter won.
“I was so excited! I didn’t even know she had entered,” Nelson said. “I called everyone and said, ‘My daughter won! And it’s not just for her school, it’s for The Tablet.’ ”
Fontbonne Hall Academy junior Amanda Marino showed off her sketching skills with her mother, Maria, and shared how the art contest is part of her long-term goals.
“I’m looking into doing graphic design,” she said. Maria admits she’s biased but thinks her daughter’s submission was worthy of winning.
“Obviously, I’m looking at it from a point of … I’m the mom,” she said. “But, I really thought it was special.”
Joseph Sbarra, Grand Knight of the Archbishop John Hughes Knights of Columbus Council, said events like the annual art contest are vital for evangelization.
“We’re dealing with the future of our communities. We’re inspired by the children, but they learn from the adults,” he said. “Whether it’s parents, teachers, or other grownups they come into contact with, we want to advocate for their creativity, especially when it’s related to anything spiritual.”
Winners of The Tablet’s “Keep Christ in Christmas” Art Contest:
- Suah Bae, Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy, First Place – 1st Grade
- Olivia Quaglione, Bay Ridge Catholic Academy, Honorable Mention – 1st Grade
- Julian Olewnicki, St. Margaret Catholic Academy, First Place – 2nd Grade
- Giovanni Astore, Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy, First Place – 4th Grade
- Vincent Randazzese, St. Bernadette Catholic Academy, First Place – 5th Grade
- Olivia Nelson, Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy, First Place – 6th Grade
- Hailey Johnson, Fontbonne Hall Academy, First Place – 10th Grade
- Amanda Marino, Fontbonne Hall Academy, First Place – 11th Grade
- Yi Ma, St. Francis Prep, First Place – 12th Grade