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Student artist surprised at win

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Deer sketch chosen for environmental art contest

By Vince Luecke

TELL CITY - A local junior-high school student's artwork is a winning entry in a River of Words Environmental Poetry and Art Contest.

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Jacob Scott, a student at Tell City Junior High School, sketched deer on a paper bag that apparently caught judges' attention, his mother, Tonya Ubelhor said.

Scott's entry was named a finalist in the art division. He was the only one chosen from Indiana.

"I was surprised but I guess they thought it was a good idea to use brown paper and to crinkle it up," the artist said.

The crinkled paper gave the artwork a textured look, said teacher Kyle Miles, who invited students in her Excel class to enter the contest, which is free to enter and usually draws 20,000 submissions from nearly every state and several foreign countries.

Jacob's artwork will be published in the 2009 anthology, "River of Words: The Natural World as Viewed by Young People." He and his school library will receive copies of the book. Scott will also receive unspecified small prizes for his accomplishment.

River of Words is a nature-based science, art and poetry organization founded to promote watershed literacy and awareness. In addition to the annual contest, River of Words also provides educational services for schools, water districts and libraries.

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass, who co-founded River of Words in 1995, emceed the awards ceremony May 13. The event included children from around the country reading their poems about the natural word-and an exhibit of winning artwork.

 "It's thrilling to see, year after year, these young writers and artists giving us back the places where we live through their words and images," Hass said.

As far as the young artist, Scott said he's looking forward to entering the contest again-and keeping his eye out for ideas.

Scott's father, Greg Scott, lives in Huntingburg.

For more information on River of Words, visit www.riverofwords.org.