USAG Stuttgart artists win top Army-level honors

Four Stuttgart military community members took top honors in the Army-level 2009 Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Arts and Crafts Contest.

In order to compete at the All Army level, all four artists first entered and placed at the U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart local competition.

In the accomplished division, James Washburn won third place for his oil-based painting, “Near Waldenbuch.”

Debra Burt, Kaitlyn Worsham and Staff Sgt. Erin Reed all won awards in the novice division.

Burt, a civilian spouse and regular watercolor painter, entered a ceramic piece for the first time and earned an honorable mention.

“It’s a nice opportunity to demonstrate what you’ve been doing, because, in the novice category, anybody has a chance,” she said.

Worsham, a freshman at Patch High School, took second place for her mixed media 2-D piece, “Metamorphosis.”

For Worsham, creating art is therapeutic. “It’s kind of just a natural thing — how I calm myself down,” she said.

Reed took first place for her “Jungle Vines” jewelry in the metal and jewelry category.

Reed pieces jewelry together during her 2-year-old son’s nap time, and was shocked to win the top Army-level prize. “It has really given me more confidence in my work,” she said.

“Knowing that other people like your creations as much as you do really makes you look at things differently,” she added.

There’s not much time for the winners to enjoy the victory, however, if they want to enter new art in the 2010 contest, which opens for entries April 1 through May 1.

The 2010 USAG Stuttgart exhibition will be held May 12 at 5:30 p.m. in the Swabian Special Events Center, followed by an award ceremony.

Last year’s local competition had 47 artists and 116 pieces of artwork, said Kelly Sarles, USAG Stuttgart FMWR Arts and Crafts program director.

“The contest is a great way for community members to share their talents, be exhibited in public and have a chance to win prizes for their art,” Sarles said. “And, of course, the exhibition is great fun, with awesome art to look at and hors d’oeuvres to enjoy.”

All ID cardholders — children and adults — in USAG Stuttgart are eligible to participate.

The contest is divided into novice and accomplished artist divisions, with 11 categories in each: ceramics, drawings, fibers, glass, metals and jewelry, mixed media 2-D, mixed media 3-D, oil-based paintings, prints, water-based paintings, and wood.

Local winners who place first, second or third receive a prize, based on the type of art they submitted.

From each category, the top three winners and two honorable mentions are eligible to submit their artwork to the All Army competition. 

All Army-level winners receive $300, $200 and $100 for first, second and third place, respectively.

However, for 2009 novice winner Reed, the real prize is the self-confidence that comes with creating art.

“Do what you love, above all,” she said, advising new artists in this year’s competition. “Don’t make something just because you think it’s what people want to see.”

At the end of the day, winner or not, that is something you can truly be proud of,” she added.

Volunteers are needed to play classical or acoustic music during the awards ceremony May 12.

For more information, call the Patch Arts and Crafts Center at 430-5270/civ. 0711-680-5270.

Do what you love, above all. At the end of the day, winner or not, that is something you can truly be proud of. 

Staff Sgt. Erin Reed

First place winner, All Army 2009 FMWR

Arts and Crafts Contest