'Art Can Change The World' Billboard Contest Winner Unveiled

'Art Can Change the World' billboard contest winner unveiled Riley Webster, a new graduate of Sherburne-Earlville High School, created the image to fit the theme, “Art Can Change the World.” (Provided photo)

NORWICH – The winning design of a billboard art competition co-sponsored by Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival and Golden Artist Colors, Inc. is now on display on a 25 by 12-foot billboard along Route 12 just north of Norwich.

Riley Webster, a new graduate of Sherburne-Earlville High School, created the image to fit the theme, “Art Can Change the World.” His work was chosen from among 41 submissions from Chenango County high school students.

“The idea behind my piece is based on our involvement in technology today,” Webster said. “It has proven to be incredibly helpful to people and is a useful tool in society. The drawback, however, is that sometimes we get too wrapped up in things like our phone. So I made this piece to show how people can be literally ‘stuck’ in their technology.”

The contest was devised by the Colorscape Strategic Development Committee and Golden Artist Colors in recognition of Colorscape’s 25th anniversary year and as a tribute to their shared commitment to supporting young artists in the community.

“We were in awe of the talent and creativity the students displayed in their submissions,” said Melissa deCordova, president of Colorscape Chenango’s board. “Riley’s piece truly captured this moment in time, when technology is everywhere and can be so consuming. His art reminds us that art – and its rainbow of opportunity - is everywhere, too.”

“Riley is one of the greatest students I will ever have in my teaching career because of his creative drive, ability to challenge himself, and the hours of research he puts in for each composition created,” said Kayleigh Olive, art teacher at Sherburne-Earlville High School. “Once in a while you have students that prove to you why your career is worth it, Riley is one of those students.”

Finalists for the Billboard Challenge also included: Mackenzie Benedict, Norwich High School; Aiden Collins, Norwich High School; Maureen Klementowski, Norwich High School; and Brayton Northrup, Bainbridge Guilford High School.

The billboard is located on the west side of Route 12 two miles north of the city of Norwich, and is visible to southbound drivers. It was put up on June 26, and will be on display until October.

About Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival: Recognized as one of the top 100 fine arts and design festivals in the country by Sunshine Artists Magazine, Colorscape Chenango has been celebrating premier artists in downtown Norwich since 1995. The free, two-day festival held the first weekend after Labor Day every Septebmer features well over 120 creators displaying and selling their paintings, sculptures, fabric art, fine crafts, photography and more. Colorscape also offers nationally renowned musical performers, poetry and literary arts, food, and interactive arts activities for all ages. The 2019 Colorscape will be held rain or shine, September 7-8 in East and West Parks in Norwich. For more information, visit www.colorscape.org.



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