CHARLESTON, W.Va. - First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin today hosted a ceremony and reception at the Governor's Mansion for the winners of the West Virginia 150th Birthday Art Contest. Joined at the event by their teachers, family members and friends, the winners were congratulated by the First Lady and presented with their prizes, courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce.
"Whether in the form of words, art or video, all of the entries commemorate the beauty of the Mountain State and the significance of this important milestone in our state's history," First Lady Tomblin said.
"This competition has inspired arts in school, while also encouraging students to become involved with our state's 150th birthday celebration," First Lady Tomblin added. "The Governor and I could not be more pleased with the response to this contest, and we hope that this experience has inspired the students, their schools and communities to find new ways to celebrate the Sesquicentennial."
Students were divided into five age groups, with different instructions and requirements for each. Those in grades K-1, 2-3, and 4-5 were asked to create a birthday card for West Virginia's sesquicentennial birthday, while students in grades 6-8 and 9-12 were asked to create two minute videos wishing West Virginia a Happy 150th Birthday. Themes for the videos included "Happy 150th Birthday West Virginia - What Makes West Virginia Unique" and "What Makes West Virginia Special?" Winning artists received Kindles, and the winning students' classrooms received gift cards for art supplies.
More than 1,500 entries were received from across the state, but only one winner was chosen from each of the five age divisions. First, second-place and honorable mention winners, as well as their teachers and schools, were acknowledged during the mansion ceremony. The winning artwork will be displayed in the State Capitol during the 150th birthday celebration, and the framed artwork will be sent to the winners' families shortly thereafter.
For more information about this contest or to view the video entries, visit www.wvcommerce.org/wv150
. For a schedule of West Virginia's 150th birthday celebration events at the Capitol, or to find a celebration in your community, visit www.wv150.com