HARTVILLE Andrew Carlson was selected as this year’s first place winner of the 8th grade Art competition for the 2020 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Art, Essay, & Multimedia Contest, which is sponsored by the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.

This is the second consecutive year a student from Lake Center Christian School has received the award.

This year, Carlson’s artwork was chosen out of the hundreds submitted. He received his award during a ceremony on Feb. 27 with a lunch reception at COSI in Columbus. During the ceremony, the winning entries from across the state were showcased and the student winners were formally recognized for their work.

Carlson said his parents; his younger brother; his art teacher Mary Beth Stauffer; and Mr. Knori, the school’s secondary principal were there to support him and cheer him on. Ohio House Rep. Reggie Stoltzfus presented the award.

“My project was a poster to bring awareness of anti-Semitism,” Andrew said. “It’s a topic I can relate to because my father is Jewish, and he has experienced it. The poster has numbers stenciled on it belonging to those who were at Auschwitz. I put 1.1 M Dead in the bottom right corner to represent the number of people who died there. I researched all of the numbers I included on the poster and they were all assigned to people in Auschwitz.”

All of the eighth-grade art class students submitted work to Stauffer and then she selected several pieces to submit to the contest.

“The contest is to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy of equality for all people and the entries needed to relate to equality for all,” Stauffer said. “The student has to give up their work because the Commission keeps the entries. Andrew’s poster will be on exhibit at the Commission’s office for two to three years and then it will be exhibited in the Akron Civil Rights office for a time.”

Carlson said he was excited to win first place and that he didn’t expect to win. He presented his work during the ceremony in Columbus along with reading a short essay.

This is a passage from his essay, “I want to tell you a story that over 10 million people have endured. This is the story of Nazi concentration camps and of death and discrimination. Many people were gassed, starved, shot, beat and killed themselves. In the concentration camps, Jews were massacred and made to work just to turn around and do it over again.”

“While the content of my project was somber, winning was exciting and I was pleased to be selected and that I could bring more awareness about anti-Semitism. I was directly recognized by the keynote speaker for my work,” Carlson said.

The keynote speaker was Kent S. Johnson, CEO of Highlights which publishes educational products for children including the magazine “Highlights.”

Carlson thanked his art teacher, his parents and God for the inspiration and idea for the poster.

Scholastic Art Awards

In addition to Carlson’s award, there were several art students from Lake Center Christian School who received Scholastic Art Awards which are widely recognized as the highest honor for art students in our region to receive for their artworks. This year’s awards included the following:

Gold Key Award recipients: Abigail Ryan, Sydney Varga

Honorable Mention Award recipients: Aidan Green, Andrew Carlson