NEW MILFORD — Among this year’s Little Red Schoolhouse entries at the Harford Fair were more than 1,800 pieces of children’s work representing public and private schools.
An oil painting of Nestle, a chocolate lab, was selected as the Best of Show in grades 7-12 to receive the Joan O. Peters Award. The Mary H. Karhnak Best of Show Award for an outstanding entry in grades K-6 was awarded to a watercolor painting of a scuba diving swimmer. In memory of both Joan O. Peters and Mary H. Karhnak who dedicated years of service to the school department, these awards are given in their names. The winners of the awards respectively are Brandon Freely, who recently graduated from Mountain View High School, and Jack Stahl who will be entering first grade at Lathrop Street Elementary School in Montrose. Freelys art teacher was Diana Lombardi and Stahl’s art teacher was Lori Fitzgerald.
Freely will be a freshman at Marywood University this fall, majoring in architecture. While at Mountain View, he was a member of the art club and designed and painted sets for the school musical productions of “Hair Spray,” “Annie” and “Hello Dolly.” He was also a member of student government, the yearbook staff, track, and cross country. He designed a light show set to music for a Christmas display in Clifford and painted a 24-by-18-foot mural for the children’s garden in Clifford, which was recently completed. Each year he creates a haunted house for Halloween and donates the money to the school’s student government and the Griffin Pond Animal Shelter. He credits his mother, who also paints, for inspiring him in the arts. His painting was a first attempt at using oils and since his painting was displayed around the school, he has been commissioned to paint other’s cats and dogs.
Lombardi has been entering the artwork of her students in the Harford Fair for many years and although many have won ribbons in their categories, this is the second year she had students who received the Best of Show recognition.
Stahl was excited about his painting’s selection as the Best of Show winner for grades K-6. Fitzgerald, explained the lesson for the students was to make the human figure look real, as students Stahl’s age frequently paint stick figures to represent people. All of the students painted themselves swimming and Stahl captured himself scuba diving, by following the tips from his teacher. Stahl also likes math and music. Outside of school, he likes to swim and play with his friends in the sprinkler. He also plays soccer and baseball and rides his mountain bike with his mom on the Rail Trail, which extends from Montrose to New Milford.
Brandon and Jack each received ribbons and an engraved clock for their winning entries. In addition, their names will be added to each of the perpetual plagues which hang in the Schoolhouse on the fairgrounds every year during fair week.
Teachers and parents can start planning for next year by check the listing of different categories of items which can be submitted to the School Department at the Harford Fair. The listing can be found online at HarfordFair.com. Next year’s Harford Fair is scheduled for Aug. 21 through 26.
Information provided by the Harford Fair.