The CCHD/CRS Office is proud to announce the winners of the first annual Creating on the Margins art contest!

The annual USCCB Creating on the Margins contest invites students in grades 7-12 to create a work of art that addresses poverty in the United States, highlighting how Catholics are called to respond and help alleviate the suffering of the poor. This year’s contest theme, “Rebuilding Together at the Margins,” prompted students to learn about how the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed disparities in society. Students then illustrated how the Church is responding by creating a work of art and writing an accompanying essay.

Flannery Walsh from St. Francis Xavier School took first place in the 7-9th grade category with her painting “Rebuilding the School,” and Anna-Francesca Omega from St. John Paul II High School took first place in the 10-12th grade category with her drawing and poem “The Grip of Fear.”

Walsh and Omega communicated strong messages of hope and solidarity in both their artwork and accompanying essay. Their entries were sent to the USCCB to be judged in the national Creating on the Margins competition. National winners will be announced in late summer.

Local Catholic fine artist, Aveen Toma, who assisted with judging contest entries, commented that Walsh “creatively portrayed the Church and community actively and literally ‘rebuilding’ what has been broken.”

Toma also remarked that Omega successfully and creatively integrated the drawing and poem in her artwork: “Looking at this scene from behind – with the wall closest to the viewer detailing in writing the ‘Grip of Fear’ present in this family, and with the space farthest away showing the beacon of hope – is a powerful tool and perspective.”

Jack Quinn from St. Francis Xavier School placed second in the 7-9th category, and Victoria Leonard and Angelina Hernandez from St. John Paul II High School placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively, in the 10-12th category. Congratulations! We are so grateful and proud of you for participating in the first year of this contest and for emphasizing the importance of loving the least of us, as our Lord calls us to, through your artwork.

All winners received awards and were honored by Bishop Olmsted at a special luncheon.

Thank you to all students from St. John Paul II High School and St. Francis Xavier School who participated, and to art teachers Mr. Bain and Mrs. Aspen for supporting their students as they worked on their entries. We look forward to next year’s Creating on the Margins art contest and pray that this contest will continue to grow and be a means of educating others about poverty in the United States. Stay posted about next year’s contest and this year’s national contest results through the USCCB’s Creating on the Margins webpage.

Click here to view the Creating on the Margins Art Gallery with all contest entries.