For the seventh consecutive year, Community Canvas is giving young artists at area elementary schools a chance to display their passion for healthy living and their talent for art.
A partnership between Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital and Lehigh Valley Art Spark – and in conjunction with the Kellyn Foundation – Community Canvas gives students at 14 schools the opportunity to create artwork based on healthy eating habits and all-around wellness.
And the winner is…
After months of uncertainty when in-person school was cancelled, 28 elementary school students faced off for the Community Canvas Grand Finale. Students created art that reflected what they had learned about healthy living from the Kellyn Foundation, ArtSpark and Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital. Their creative expressions included healthy hearts, musical fruit bowls and veggie detectives.
The students represented 14 schools in Allentown, Northampton and Whitehall-Coplay districts. Two students were voted into the finale during their school art competitions, and two additional students reached the finale after a world-wide online vote.
For the finale, students created their art at home, all using the same supplied art supplies. They had 45 minutes to create their final masterpieces. The vote was close, with more than 3400 votes from all over.
Here are the top three winners:
When schools in Pennsylvania are closed for the rest of the school year, Community Canvas continued in a virtual format. Students who were selected to participate in their school’s Community Canvas competition created their artwork at home and everyone voted for their favorite.
Now the top two winning students from each school, plus two wildcard contestants, have moved on to the Grand Finale. These 30 students will create their art at home on Saturday, June 13. Their artwork will be posted here for voting from noon on June 17 to noon on June 19. The winners will be crowned on Saturday, June 20 at noon.
Voting is open to anyone – no connection to a school or artist is necessary.
To begin, Kellyn Foundation conducts a classroom program series in the schools. In these classroom sessions, we discuss the connection between good health and good nutrition through programs created especially for third, fourth and fifth graders. Students learn differences between fresh, healthy, whole food and drink compared to processed unhealthy products. Students also learn how to read food labels and find the amount of sugar and fat in products. In addition, students learn how to make the healthiest choices when they are out at restaurants or away from home with friends.
Following these presentations, children are asked to take home a packet of materials for their parents that explains Community Canvas. Parents also are asked for consent for their child to be considered as an artist contestant at an upcoming art event.
Once the classroom education has taken place, Lehigh Valley Art Spark conducts an assembly at the school where the students dance, play games and refresh the lessons learned. During the assembly, eight contestants are randomly selected for their school’s Community Canvas art event.
Fourteen Community Canvas preliminary art events will take place through April 2020, with the grand finale in June. Children of Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) employees are not eligible to compete as artists.
Families and friends are encouraged to capture the excitement with photos at each Community Canvas preliminary event and to promote our local schoolchildren's talent by uploading them to social media using our official hashtag #CommunityCanvas.
Third and fourth grade students at several participating schools get even closer to their food by planting, growing and harvesting produce from their own school garden, creating a year-round healthy food experience.
Third and fourth grade students are challenged to change how they feel about foods, and shown how to teach their bodies to like healthier foods. Here's another trick – it works for adults too!
Allentown School District
Bethlehem School District
Easton Area School District
Whitehall-Coplay School District
Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, Kellyn Foundation and Buy Fresh Buy Local are partnering with neighborhood corner stores to make it easier for families to make healthy choices by offering affordable fresh, local produce.
At Community Canvas preliminary events, our artists are given a lunchbox full of art supplies and 45 minutes to create a piece of artwork based on what they’ve learned in the classroom and school assemblies. The artwork is then voted on by the audience to select two winners, who quality for the Grand Finale. The most important artistic talent needed is creativity and a passion for healthy living. Everyone who participates in a Community Canvas preliminary event gets a prize.
While the artists create their masterpieces, top chefs from local restaurants will be offering free and delicious healthy meal samples for everyone in attendance.
After the 14 preliminary events are completed, the work of all artists who did not advance to the Grand Finale will be entered into a Facebook poll so the public can select additional contestants to advance to the finale event.
Similar to the preliminary events, each artist at our Grand Finale will receive a mystery lunchbox of art materials and have 45 minutes to create their artwork based on a healthy theme. Audience members each get one vote to select an overall winner, who earns the opportunity to be featured in local media and on the LVHN website and in publications. In addition, the winner takes home a basket filled with brand new art supplies and gift certificates. Second and third place artists will also receive prizes.
Participating chefs compete in a “cook-off” by creating healthy dishes using three ingredients supplied by the Kellyn Foundation’s Eat Real Food Mobile Market. The winning chef will be voted on by the audience, including the child artists, and will be awarded the Reilly Children’s Hospital’s “golden spoon” trophy.
The Community Canvas program costs you nothing but your time and support for what we hope you’ll find to be a tasty and inspiring experience for your entire family. Artwork from all Community Canvas events can be seen at Reilly Children’s Hospital art galleries throughout LVHN facilities.