|HERC recognizes outstanding student artists, writers|
|By Greg Sherwin|
|Friday, 22 June 2012 01:20|
|Agency distributes 66 awards, a record number|
PROVIDENCE – The Holocaust Education & Resource Center (HERC) hosted its Annual Arts and Writing Contest awards ceremony at the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island (the Alliance) Jewish Community Center (JCC) on the evening of Sunday, June 3.
The annual competition, now called The Sandra and Stanley Abrams Arts & Writing Contest, invites Rhode Island middle and high school students to develop art, poetry, essays, short stories and other media on a particular Holocaust theme, which are then judged by a panel of teachers and artists.
This year, more than 300 entries were submitted on the theme of “Memories: Good and Evil.” In response to the remarkable outpouring of work from the students, the panel of judges created several new categories to recognize students’ outstanding work. In total, 66 awards were distributed to students.
Judith Jamieson, a vice president of HERC, welcomed the audience, and HERC President Jay Strauss offered greetings.
Selma Stanzler, a member of the program committee, and Betty Jaffe, presented each student with his or her award and either “Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History,” by Art Spiegelman (published by Pantheon Books, 1991) or “Ordinary People, Turbulent Times,” by Alice Dreifuss Goldstein (published by AuthorHouse, 2008).
There were overall winners, one in writing and one in art. Evan Laverdure, a Mount St. Charles Academy student, received the Gastfreund Writing Award and Jacob Madore, of Gorton Junior High and Temple Am David in Warwick, received the Singer Art Award.
All the award-winning works were mounted for display in the Alliance JCC Art Gallery.
In a room filled with powerful submissions, Madore’s artwork was a standout.
Madore, whose mother explained that he grew more religious after he became a bar mitzvah, entered the contest after being encouraged to do so by several Temple Am David members.
“Alice Goldstein was a survivor of Kristallnacht and I wanted to honor her,” Madore said.
Madore, who spent more than six months working on his submission, began the process during his winter vacation.
“It was all his vision. He wanted people to see it,” his mother explained.
He worked on the project steadily and only put the finishing touches on the project shortly before the submission deadline.
Two teachers were recognized for their outstanding work on Holocaust education. Anna Styborski of the St. Augustine School in Providence and Robert Lisi of LaSalle Academy in Providence received the Starr Teacher Award, sponsored by Bob and Joyce Starr, from Bob Starr.
More than 250 people gathered for the celebratory occasion, which included an ice cream bar that the Starrs sponsored.
FOR MORE INFORMATION about HERC, visit www.hercri.org.