Sinclair student wins trip to NYC in art contest
By Trudy Balcom
RAWLINS — A Sinclair Elementary School fourth grader has won an all-expenses paid trip to New York City for her design in the Youth Art Month flag contest.
Abbie McCulloch won the statewide Youth Art Month Flag Contest, sponsored by the Wyoming Art Educators Association, with her design called “Wyoming Flowers.”
The contest rules required students to create a design for a flag that represented the State of Wyoming and art. Abbie’s design won out over 103 competing entries from students of all ages from across the Cowboy State.
On Friday, students and staff from Sinclair honored Abbie and two other award-winning Sinclair students. The students received certificates and everyone enjoyed a pizza lunch and cake.
It all started back in January when Abbie’s teacher, Brenda Morgan, received an email from Rawlins Elementary School art teacher Jamie Chapman alerting students to the contest.
Because of classroom schedules and time constraints, Morgan said the students only had three days to work on their submissions.
“I started thinking stuff about Wyoming. I wanted to do a flower, so I used the state flower, and mountains because of the Tetons. And I wanted a sunset and to show the wind,” Abbie said of her design.
This is the second year the Wyoming Art Educators Association hosted the Youth Art Month contest. Entries are judged in the elementary, middle school and high school level.
Only one design is chosen from all of the entries as a statewide winner.
Another Sinclair student, fifth grader Dallin Taylor, was also a winner in the Youth Art Month contest. Dallin’s entry was the winner of the elementary division. His design featured the silhouette of a bison against a background of red, white and blue stripes. Inside the silhouette is the outline of the Tetons, trees and a river.
Morgan said Dallin came into school early to finish work on his design.
“I like to draw animals,” Dallin said. He was awarded a packet of art supplies for his entry.
Fourth grader Axel Ortiz was also honored for his drawing submitted in the Arbor Day Poster Contest.
Morgan encouraged Abbie to work on polishing her entry before submitting it.
“Sometimes that little bit of extra work has big payoffs,” Morgan told the students gathered for the assembly.
Angeli McCulloch, Abbie’s mom, also teaches at Sinclair Elementary. She said it was “unbelievable” when they got word that Abbie and won the contest and the trip to New York City.
“I was shocked, I didn’t really know what it was for,” McCulloch said.
She said she remembered Abbie working on the drawing, but she thought it was just a class project.
“When Mrs. Morgan told me about it, I didn’t believe it. It’s unbelievable that she beat out the whole state, even high school students,” McCulloch said.
McCulloch said she didn’t want to believe they had won a trip to New York City either, until she got confirmation about it.
Sargent Art Supplies, a sponsor of Youth Art Month, is paying for the trip to New York City. Abbie, her mother and Morgan will all enjoy an all-expenses paid three-day trip in July that includes admission to New York art museums and tickets to a Broadway show.
And Abbie is excited about the trip.
“New York is really far away and it’s my first time in a plane,” she said.