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TOWNSEND — The VFW Auxiliary to Townsend Post No. 6538 will sponsor the Young American Creative Patriotic Art Awards in conjunction with the VFW Auxiliary Department of Massachusetts and the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Auxiliary.

Through the program, high-school students can use their artistic talents to express their patriotism while competing for cash at the local and state levels, as well as money to further their education at the national level.

The VFW Auxiliary to Townsend Post No. 6538 will award $35 to its first-place winner, $25 to its second-place finisher and $15 to its third-place finalist.

The Townsend Auxiliary’s winning entry will be entered into the VFW Auxiliary Department of Massachusetts competition where $200 will be awarded to the first-place winner and $100 to the second-place finisher. The state’s winning art piece will be entered into the national competition, where scholarships of $15,000 for first place, $7,500 for second place, $3,500 for third place, $1,500 for fourth place, and $500 each for fifth through eighth places will be awarded to the winners.

The winning national art will be featured on the cover of VFW Auxiliary Magazine and on the VFW Auxiliary website. The top eight national entries, along with what the artists said about their entries, will be featured in VFW Auxiliary Magazine and on the website. All the state winning entries submitted into the national competition will be displayed at the VFW National Convention and on the VFW Auxiliary website.

The Townsend Auxiliary’s Young American Creative Patriotic Art Awards Program is open to students in grades 9-12 who attend school or are home-schooled in Massachusetts. The students must be 18 or younger at the time of local entry and must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. national.

Both 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional art is being accepted this year; 2-D art must be on paper or canvas using watercolor, pencil, pastel, charcoal, tempera, crayon, acrylic, pen, ink, oil, marker or other media taught. Also, 2-D pieces should not be framed. Canvas entries should be submitted on stretcher frames or canvas board, while other entries must be matted in white. It is strongly recommended that heavy paper be used to reinforce the back of an entry that is matted.

Mounted and floating mats may also be used. The art should be no smaller than 8 inches by 10 inches but no larger than 18 inches by 24 inches, not including the mat.

Three-dimensional art can be paper, paper-mâché, pottery, clay, metal work, etc. Pieces should be no smaller than 8 inches in any direction and no larger than 24 inches in any direction. Art cannot be more than 5 pounds in weight. Digital art, photography and jewelry will not be accepted.

If the American flag is used in the entry, it must conform to the Federal Flag Code as far as color, number of stars and stripes, and other pertinent rules of the code.

The art entry must have been done during the current school year. Each student may submit only one entry into the competition. A typed explanation using 150 words or less of the patriotism expressed in the artwork, plus a completed official contest application bearing information about the artist, the source of the idea for the artwork, and the signatures of his art teacher or the supervisory adult and his parent or guardian, must be attached to the back of the entry.

Contest applications and information about the program may be obtained from high-school art teachers or from Betty Mae Tenney of the VFW Auxiliary to Townsend Post No. 6538.

Each entry will be judged on originality of concept, presentation and patriotism expressed; the content of how it relates to patriotism and clarity of ideas; the design technique; total impact of work; and uniqueness.

All local Young American Creative Patriotic Art Awards entries must be submitted to VFW Auxiliary to Townsend Post No. 6538 President Betty Mae Tenney by March 31.