MORRISBURG – When Isabella Johnston completed and sent her submission to the Lions Club International Peace Poster contest last November, she wasn’t sure if anyone would understand the message that she was trying to convey through her art.
“But I guess they did,” said Bella, who recently learned that not only did she place second at the local level, she won first place at the district level. (Violet Barnhardt was selected first at the local level.)
Bella, who is a 13 year-old grade 8 student at Seaway, was beaming as she talked to The Leader about her work that will now move on to be judged at the provincial level. Her poster was ranked among the top 10 for Multiple District A.
The first place win at the district level, not only earned her a certificate to commemorate the accomplishment, “I got a cheque for $200!” Asked what she plans to do with the money, Bella replied: “I have no idea. Probably just save it.”
Bella has won this contest locally before, but never at the higher level and this is the first time she has ever won money for her artwork.
Each year the peace poster contest has a theme and the theme for this submission was leadership.
Asked to describe her work, Bella explained that it’s a dark cave with a group of people coming out of it. “There is one person with a torch leading them back into the light. When I thought of the leadership theme I thought of someone who was having a rough time with life finding a way to get out of that dark place. Leading the way into a lighter time where they are getting happier. And their injuries fade as they come into the light provided by the sun.”
“I love doing art,” said Bella, who says that she especially likes working with coloured pencils, and that she continuously fills sketchbooks with her work.
To win a prize and have her work recognized is just an added bonus.
She said she has an idea for next year’s contest and hopes they will have an age category for her submission.