VFW 2891 announces Young American Creative Patriotic Art People’s Choice winner

Taryn Johnson was the People’s Choice winner in the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ 2017-2018 Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest in Crystal Falls.

CRYSTAL FALLS — Taryn Johnson, a 12th-grade student from Forest Park High School, is the People’s Choice winner of the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ 2017-2018 Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest.

Johnson, who was sponsored by VFW Post 2891 and its auxiliary in Crystal Falls, created her colored pencil, 12-by-12-inches drawing as an independent studies.

As Anna Hilberg’s first-place artwork for Forest Park was being judged at the Michigan Department of VFW state contest, the other 20 pieces of art were put on display at Charlie’s Emporium in Crystal Falls for the public to view and vote on their favorite. Johnson’s drawing won.

Other artwork that received honorable mention were done by Lily Wesselin, Bailey Blazier, Hanna Lesniewski, Avery Sommers, Reuben Stoor and Nola McDowell.

In the fall, students are invited to start new artwork for this competition. Students must be in ninth through 12th grade and attend school in the same state as the sponsoring VFW auxiliary. Home-schooled students are eligible; foreign exchange students are not. Students must be no older than age 18 at the time of the local entry and must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. national.

Each year, more than 3,500 high school students from across the country participate in the VFW Auxiliary’s Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest. The event began in 1979 to recognize up-and-coming artists and encourage patriotism in youth.

Hilberg’s winning artwork was sent to the Michigan VFW for judging in the state contest. The Crystal Falls VFW recently learned the piece did not advance.

State winners go on to compete at the national VFW Convention in July for individual awards that range from $500 to $10,000.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is a nonprofit veterans service organization comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, guard and reserve forces. Founded in 1899 and chartered by Congress in 1936, the VFW is the nation’s largest organization of war veterans and its oldest major veterans organization.