The call for children's art work to decorate the new Primary Children's Medical Center now under construction triggered an avalanche of entries. Budding young artists from school districts all over Utah as well as three neighboring states submitted over 50,000 drawings!
For several months, these young people anxiously awaited the decision of the judges. Finally, at a June 11 celebration on the Fort Douglas Club lawn north of the new hospital site, the winners were announced. Dawn J. Young, chairwoman of the Community Campaign Committee of Primary Children's Campaign for Children, presented awards to 36 excited children.Ten of the winning works will be reproduced in color on 8-foot by 10-foot wall murals. Twenty-six drawings representing different letters of the alphabet will be used for donor-wall recognition blocks.
An additional 115 drawings, one from every school district that participated in the competition, will be displayed throughout the hospital after it opens.
Judging 50,000 entries was a formidable task. Young, her committee, and several others conducted the initial screening. After reducing the number to 2,000, they invited a group of six artists, art educators and administrators to conduct the final judging.
What they looked for was imaginative art, rather than work copied from books, magazines, etc. This art represented a variety of themes: animals, nature, pleasant memories, family and friends.
The committee also chose art that represented the skill levels of children from kindergarten through the 6th grade.
Four of the wall mural winners and 11 of the alphabet block winners are from children who attend elementary school in Salt Lake County.
One of the winners is 9-year-old Craig Bracken of Horizon Elementary in Murray. In a recent telephone conversation with him, he expressed excitement.
But winning art awards is nothing new for Bracken. Although only nine years old, he has already won so many he has lost count.
Craig comes from a family of artists. His father, Raymond, a graphic artist in the University of Utah Printing Service, gives art lessons to Craig - and to Craig's brother Andrew, 12, and sister Robin, 6. They have won awards in the Salt Lake County Fair, the Utah State Fair, and PTA Reflection competitions. Robin recently won the PTA Reflections competition for Utah and her painting is in the national competition.
Now on its way to become a tiled wall mural, Craig's watercolor focuses on a boy in a tree house. Bracken doesn't have his own tree house yet, but if he keeps on winning art awards, he might end up with a tree studio and tree gallery!
Other wall mural winners are Eric Buhler of Taylorsville Elementary, Brian Porter of Westland Elementary, and Tanya Symes of Bella Vista Elementary. Also Angela Barnard of Evanston, Wyo.; Kelli Crocket of Logan; Emily Haroldsen of Alpine; Jeremy Lake of Castle Dale; Rachel Moon of Coalville; and Michael Valentine of Mexican Hat.
Three alternates have also been selected for the wall murals. They are Bruce Barnard, Jr. of Evanston, Wyo.; Neil Smart of Teton, Idaho; and Russell McKinnon of Moab.
Young artists from Salt Lake County whose works have been selected for alphabet art are: Robin Aberton, Robert Call, Jeff Cutrer, Micaele Giesbrecht, Gentry Gough, Mary Elizabeth Gudmundson, Brent Hughes, Sarah Meadows, Curtis newton, Bryton Sampson, and Joey Wilcox.
All of these young artists are anxious to see their creations after they are installed in the new Primary Children's Medical Center. But they'll have to wait a while - about a year and a half. The hospital is scheduled to open in November 1989. But when one considers that these vibrant, creative works will be displayed permanently, it's not too long to wait.