Artworks depicting walking fish and a vase of flowers in water won two Evans High School students national prominence in the River of Words art and poetry contest.
Senior Kristen Warbington and sophomore Jesse Moore won two of the top five finalist spots in the national contest that has more than 20,000 entries annually. Another Evans High student, Todd Robles, was a state winner.
River of Words, an international poetry and art contest for children in kindergarten through 12th grade, invites students to explore their own watershed, discover its importance in their lives and express what they've learned, felt and observed in words and images.
"I've never really won anything before. I was very happy," said Kristen, who would like to study interior design when she graduates.
Jesse, who to be an engineer, said the win was unexpected.
"My parents were pretty surprised," he said. "They saw me working on it and didn't know what it was."
The program was sparked by former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass' commitment to environmental education and is now affiliated with the Library of Congress Center for the Book. The organization annually publishes a poetry book of the contest's winning entries, entitled River of Words: The Natural World as Viewed by Young People.
River of Words poetry and art is reprinted in magazines, books, annual reports and newspapers and exhibits of the winning art are seen around the world at museums, conferences and other events.
Kristen, 18, is the daughter of Richard and Christine Warbington of Martinez. Jesse, 16, is the son of Dan and Terry Moore of Martinez. Pam Seger, who was named 2000 River of Words Teacher of the Year, is their art teacher.
"Jesse is pretty good drawing humorous cartoon characters with animals. His was a humorous scene with fish walking, buying water because humans had polluted theirs," Seger said.
Kristen's work was of a vase of water with flowers in it. Both will be recognized at an awards ceremony Sunday at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Their artwork was displayed in the Library of Congress in April.
"A lot of contests don't really have a good purpose behind them," Seger said. "This makes them sit down and think how important water really is, makes them appreciate it more."
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