Young artist’s winning poster promotes unity

North Haven Middle School seventh grader Stella Shaw is the local winner of the 34th annual Lions International Peace Poster Contest.

Shaw’s poster was selected from more than 250 entries for its originality, artistic merit, and portrayal of the contest theme – We Are All Connected.

“My poster shows the world as an incomplete puzzle, because our world is far from perfect,” the young artist stated.

“It has different hands working together to solve the puzzle. It shows that to finish our ‘puzzle’ we need to work together, because we are all connected and everyone needs to help by adding their own piece, no matter how small of an impact it makes.”

Having won the local poster contest, Shaw’s entry moves on to the district level of competition on Saturday, Dec. 11.

North Haven Lions Club Peace Poster Contest coordinator Alan Sturtz said he is impressed year after year by local students’ submissions. “It is obvious that these young people have strong ideas about what peace means to them,” he said. “I am proud that we were able to provide them with the opportunity to share their visions.”

NHMS art teacher Betsy Titus, who served as liaison for the poster contest, commented, “We have participated with the North Haven Lions for years and it has allowed our students to have an opportunity to express themselves in a positive way through their artwork and connect with the community. This connection of our students to understanding the impact of their vision for peace in the community has been positive for all involved.”

Diana Blyth, art coordinator for North Haven Public Schools, stated, “Now more than ever, it is crucial for young people to be aware of how the universal language of art speaks to the hearts and minds of people across cultures, religions, and races to help them develop/convey empathy, understanding, and appreciation. 

“Congratulations to Stella and her art teacher, Mrs. Betsy Titus, for bringing us together in such a positive celebratory way to fulfill the mission of a most worthy organization … How wonderful when children and adults can work together to make these types of invaluable connections!”

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