Lee Elections Office honors students for voting promotion artwork
Two Cypress Lake High School students took top honors in the 2018 Arts Vote Contest.
Paige Caldwell, a 10th grade student at North Fort Myers High School who submitted her work while still a student at Cypress, was the Best Artwork Contest Winner.
Hannah Gatof, a senior at Cypress Lake, won for Most Original Artwork.
There were 26 entries.
Hosted by the Lee County Supervisor of Elections office, the Arts Vote Contest was created to encourage high school students to design artwork that promotes voter participation, civic engagement, and patriotism.
Not their typical polling style, judging the contest entries were Supervisor of Elections Tommy Doyle along with his senior staff to pick winners in the two categories, Best Artwork and Most Original Artwork.
The contest began Oct. 9, 2017 and ended Jan. 5. Cypress Lake won $500 after two of its students won both contest places.
* Best Artwork Contest Winner: Paige Caldwell, 10th grade student, North Fort Myers High School
Supervisor of Elections Tommy Doyle presented Paige Caldwell, beside her parents, with a certificate at the Main Office of the Lee County Supervisor of Elections Office.
Her artwork depicts a portrait of a young woman resembling Caldwell, contemplating her vote while signs which promote voting wave behind her. Caldwell stated about the piece:
“Voting is a reflection of personal beliefs, although sometimes opinions are swayed. Before voting, people often think about the best option and make sure they agree with their choice. The piece reflects the decision-making process. Propaganda can often influence you, so you have to take your time when making your decisions.”
* Most Original Artwork Contest Winner: Hannah Gatof, 12th Grade Student at Cypress Lake High School
Supervisor of Elections Tommy Doyle presented gift certificates to Most Original Artwork winner Hannah Gatof and teacher Marguerite Petcher, for her assistance with promoting student participation in the inaugural Arts Vote Contest.
The artwork is a patriotically abstract piece with a call to action to vote! Gatof was inspired by the I VOTED stickers she saw everywhere during election times.
“Branching from the imagery came the traditional red, white, and blue color scheme that I decided to stick with. When I started, I knew I wanted to create a youthful and clean design, able to capture the attention of younger voters. This was the outcome,” stated Gatof.
“The 2018 Art Vote contest is part of the Lee County Supervisor of Elections efforts in engaging youth in the democratic process. This contest aligns during times which a new wave of youthful activism has swept Florida, in light of the recent Parkland school shooting. This engagement is a positive outlet that inspires youth to form opinions, get involved and make a change. Many campaigns during election year target youth, specifically high school students, as many of them are turning 18, the age to vote,” election officials said.