Ocean City Today

Student art competition all about canines

By Kara Hallissey | Oct 19, 2017

(Oct. 20, 2017) The deadline is approaching for original interpretations of “Dogs: Man’s Best Friend” artwork, a contest where winners will take home prize money and have their canine creations displayed during the Eastern Shore Classic Cluster Dog Show at the Wicomico County Youth and Civic Center in Salisbury.

Students in Kindergarten through 12th grade and up to 18 years of age in Worcester and Wicomico counties and Sussex County, Delaware, are eligible to submit one art entry per person, which can include depictions of a purebred or mixed breed dog in ink, paint, pastel, crayon or pencil.

Local schools and teachers are encouraged to make the art contest part of a class requirement or an optional way for students to express their love for dogs.

“I breed and show Italian greyhounds and [I am] always looking to reach out and involve the youth with dogs,” said Jerry Milko, creator of the student art contest and a member of the Salisbury Maryland Kennel Club. “An art contest is a great way to involve the community and schools down here. It will give insight into dogs and there will be a nice amount of artwork to see at the dog show [in November.]”

All first-prize winners in each grade will take home $25 in addition to being eligible to compete for “Best in Show” with a $500 prize and “Reserve Best in Show” with a $250 award. First, second, third and fourth place winners in each grade level will earn a ribbon.

Prize money is distributed through the nonprofit Salisbury Maryland Kennel Club Charitable Trust.

In addition, all participants will receive one complimentary student admission and one free adult admission to the Eastern Shore Classic Cluster Dog Show, Friday, Nov. 10, or Saturday, Nov. 11.

Any artwork recognized by the judging panel will be displayed in a gallery during the Eastern Shore Classic Cluster Dog Show at the Wicomico County Youth and Civic Center, held Nov. 8-12.

“The shows are open to the public and provide a learning experience for students,” Milko said. “Dogs are an integral part of life and are as old as time itself. They are family members and children learn responsibilities with a pet.”

Private, public and homeschooled students are encouraged to create original artwork of a dog, considering their anatomy, coat, coloration, unique characteristics, specialization and their own feelings toward man’s best friend. A family pet or favorite breed can be depicted in the paintings.

“Dogs are effective for therapy, protection and have medical benefits,” Milko said. “They are an integral part of society in so many ways and I want people to understand they improve our quality of life. [The contest] involves youth and educators [in addition to] the human canine relationship.”

Students cannot reproduce another artist’s visual images. Everything must be original artwork.

The minimum size for entries is 8-inch by 8-inch and the maximum is 26-inch by 26-inch with a recommended ratio of 75 percent or greater.

Organizers expect to have more than 100 entries and they have spoken to a number of area art teachers from Berlin, Ocean City, Easton, Salisbury and Milford, Milko said.

“The feedback from parents and teachers has been a nice representation for the first year. Some schools are making the art contest a curriculum item,” Milko said. “We are hoping for great quality artwork and want to recognize as many students in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade as we can.”

The judging panel includes Grover Cantwell, Denise DeMarco Crutchly, Sara England, Patty Falck and Myrna McGrath, who will determine the winners after the Oct. 28 deadline, Milko said.

Students can preregister at easternshoreartcontest@gmail.com or call Milko at 410-430-7249 for an entry form and additional information. Call or email to arrange for entries to be picked up by Oct. 27 as well.

All mailed entries must be postmarked by Oct. 23. Send to: Salisbury Maryland Kennel Club, P.O. Box 1881 Salisbury, Maryland, 21802.

Entries can also be hand delivered to Holiday Real Estate at 7700 Coastal Highway in Ocean City, Monday through Saturday, by Oct. 27, or to the Salisbury Maryland Kennel Club at 31663 Winterplace Parkway in Salisbury, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., by Oct. 28.

The contest is taking place through the Eastern Shore Classic Cluster Dog Show, which brings the Salisbury Maryland Kennel Club, Talbot Kennel Club and Mispillion Kennel Club together for an annual dog show in Salisbury each year.

“An art gallery with the winning entries shall be on display during the Eastern Shore Classic Dog Shows from Wednesday, Nov. 8, through Sunday, Nov. 12,” Milko said. “The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.”

For more information about the contest, search “Eastern Shore Classic Dog Shows Art Contest” on Facebook.

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