Clarendon Hills Centennial Art Competition submissions on display at The Birches

Five grade-level winners have been chosen in the Clarendon Hills Centennial Art Competition.

All art submissions will be displayed at The Birches, 215 55th Street, until the end of May with a program for a self-guided tour. Winning art pieces will be on display at Clarendon Hills Village Hall through the end of 2024, starting at the beginning of June.

A reception for all artists, their families, and the public was held Wednesday, May 15 at The Birches.

Birches resident Nancy Clark looks at artwork while taking a self-guided tour. (The Birches)
Birches resident Nancy Clark looks at artwork while taking a self-guided tour. (The Birches)

“With live music by BluMaxx Trio, delectable citrus-inspired homemade bites and treats by The Birches, and the Clarendon Hills Historical Society to promote Centennial keepsakes, this was a night to remember and to celebrate how much our kids in Clarendon Hills means to our community,” said Jacqueline Sander, executive director & chief executive officer of The Birches and president of the Clarendon Hills Chamber of Commerce.

Belinda Lutz-Hamel, of Hamel Dental, said that as a retired art teacher of 36 years, her favorite experience at the opening was seeing what the artists found inspiring about Clarendon Hills.

“And witnessing the awe-inspiring, multi-generational sharing throughout the event,” she said.

A judging panel for the art competition selected five outstanding pieces, based on theme, technique, and creativity.

Winners were Nathan Wang, fourth grade, for “Seeds of Prospect;” Sydney Barnes, fifth grade, for “Friday Fun with Friends;” Sophia Zhenyu Jiang, sixth grade, for “The Daisy Village, My Home;” Bella Li, seventh grade, for “Spring at the Library;” and Natalie Zhenyan Jiang, eighth grade, for “Take Pride in Our Town.”

Assistant Village Manager Mera Johnson said the Village’s Centennial Committee came up with the idea for the competition, and committee member Lutz Hamel quickly took interest in the project. She collaborated with The Birches, Clarendon Hills Library, and North Hill Framing to plan and organize the details for the competition.

Each winner received a $100 cash prize from Hamel Dental, and the winning artwork will be used for a 100th special edition library card. The public can exchange their library cards for a Centennial library card at the Clarendon Hills Public Library after July 31.

Johnson said the age range of grades 4-8 was chosen because it most represents the schools actually located in Clarendon Hills, and children in those grades can work independently.

Chuck Fieldman is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.

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