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Drawing on a Large Talent Pool

Six articles, Nine schools, 138 entries, and a one-of-a-kind art contest

We were not sure this would work. When Cape Cod LIFE art director, Jen Dow, proposed we host a contest, in which we would ask students at every Cape and Islands high school to submit original artwork to help us illustrate six local history articles for this issue—including three from the 1800s—success was far from assured.

Would we receive enough entries? Would we receive any entries? Would they be good enough? Could we pull this off?

Questions like these percolated in the project’s early haze, as the leaves on Cape trees fell in November’s first days. Two weeks passed, then three—no submissions. Not quite panicked, but close—that was my condition.

Six articles, Nine schools, 138 entries, and a one-of-a-kind art contest

But then—Sweet Sugarcane!—we got our first taker. At Falmouth High, it was art teacher, Jane Baker! “Thirty-eight or so” of her students, Jane emailed with assertion, were hard at work, painting, drawing, and using charcoal with exertion.

And by the way, Jane added as a final FYI, teachers Corine Adams and John Holladay were getting involved too; there’s strength in numbers at Falmouth High!

Then Kristen Deschamps reached out to us from Mashpee, as did Donovan and Mason from Bourne—that’s no fable. And let’s not forget Sturgis’ Forget, Richenburg, and Abel. We received entries from Deb (DeQuattro at Cape Tech) and Karen (Mackiewicz, Trinity Christian), Ginny (Ogden, Nauset High) and Jenny (Finan, St. John Paul II), and with a few more—from Lucy Nelson at Falmouth Academy—we really had plenty.

When the deadline was reached and the last kilns had fired, when the dust had settled and the ink had dried, we received 138 submissions from art students Cape-wide—including 17 sculptures! That’s enough to fill up a conference room—and very nearly an inbox! We chose six winners—we’re sure you’ll be impressed; they range from a bas-relief of Billingsgate to a portrait of Joseph Lincoln, nattily dressed.

The winning artwork leads off each of the history articles to follow, with honorable mentions displayed in these four pages, here. We even put together a video featuring all of the artwork; please watch it, like it, and share! We offer a sincere thank you to the students and teachers who took part—in this fun project, which we believe, celebrates Cape Cod history and art!

And the Winners are…

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