MCS students take third place in Olympics of Visual Arts

By Brian Sweeney
A team of Margaretville Central School students earned a third-place prize in an art competition held on May 3 in Saratoga Springs.

Sixteen MCS students in grades seven and eight competed in the 30th annual Olympics of Visual Arts and their work in the Fashion Design category earned the third-place prize.
The Olympics of the Visual Arts is an annual event sponsored by the New York State Art Teachers’ Association (NYSATA). Districts from all over the state are welcome to participate and the finals of the competition are held in Saratoga Springs.

“Challenges” for the competition are posted on the NYSATA website in the fall and students must come up with a solution to address them. There are many different categories in which students can compete, including Fashion Design, Sculpture, Architecture, Painting, etc. 

The challenge in which the MCS students chose to enter for the competition was to make a wearable outfit entirely out of paper products that related in some way to art history. 

Art teacher Michele Dietz, who is in her first year working at Margaretville, had taken students to this Olympics of the Visual Arts for the past two years while teaching in Carmel. Her team won first-place last year and she explained the competition to see if her MCS students would like to participate.

“I showed some of my students pictures from last year and explained to them what it was to gauge their interest. I ended up with a group of girls who wanted to do Fashion Design,” she explained.
Dietz said the students decided to make a dress related to Cubism, specifically Pablo Picasso. 

Working on their entry since January, they made a skirt and top out of tagboard and a lot of papier-mâché. The students then used paint and tissue paper to embellish their creation.  They modeled the dress in front of about 250 people. The students also created a written portfolio to chronicle their research and reflections relating to the assignment. This overview was also read at the event.

Seventh-graders participating in the competition included: Katlynn Shamro, Sage Finkle, Sylvia Hoffman-Kowatch, Kayla Laise, Bianca Molnar, Courtney Scheffler, Jeanine Sealtiel, Mary Greene and Kaylee Sanford.

Eighth-grade taking part were: Carly Shultis, Shannon Fairbairn, Sabrina Mauro, Anna Aulino, Hailee Hunter, Erica Johnson and Lizzy Johnson.

Sage Finkle modeled the dress and Bianca Molnar and Katlynn Shamro read the speech.