On Monday, Dec. 5, five Central Florida art teachers met at the Orlando Sentinel to judge almost 1,300 pieces of artwork entered into the Sentinel's 24th annual Holiday Art Contest.
Three hours (and a few cookies) later, the judges had selected one Grand Prize, four Merit Award and 10 Honorable Mention winners for each of the three age groups. In addition, the teachers selected 20 Certificate of Achievement winners in each age group and those students received certificates.
The teachers were looking for outstanding work that captured the spirit of the season as interpreted by young artists. In the end, they named three Grand Prize winners whose pictures had common elements: bright color, the use of the whole canvas and a story behind the scenes depicted.
An awards ceremony for the Grand Prize, Merit Award and Honorable Mention winners took place Dec. 9 at the Orlando Sentinel. All honorees received an award certificate and art supplies. The Grand Prize winners also received $50 gift cards, and the Merit Award winners received $25 gift cards.
Stay tuned: The winning artwork will appear online and in print in the Orlando Sentinel on Saturday, Dec. 24. This year, the winning artwork will also be displayed at the Mennello Museum of American Art from Dec. 18 until Jan. 1. The museum is located at 900 East Princeton Street in Orlando.
The Holiday Art Contest is open to all Central Florida elementary-school-age children.
Cassie Armstrong can be reached at email@example.com. Follow the Sentinel photo staff on Twitter @OSPhoto. Like us on Facebook: Orlando Sentinel Photography.