Fairhaven calendar art contest draws many strong entries
By BOB COUPLAND
NILES — The brown and red leaves and trees painting created by Warren resident Erin Pressell will grace the cover of the Fairhaven Foundation’s 2020 calendar, as she and 11 others had their artwork selected for the annual fundraiser.
Pressell, 16, was surprised when they called her name Wednesday evening at the foundation’s 21st annual dinner and calendar unveiling held at Ciminero’s Banquet Centre in Niles. The calendar was presented at the end of the event and given to people as they walked out the door.
Pressell, with her parents Rick and Shelley, attended the event.
She has had work featured in the calendar before, she said, but this is her first time to be chosen for the cover. She likes fall and painting, and takes an art class at Fairhaven School.
“I was surprised when they called my name,” Erin said.
Shelley Pressell said they received a letter that Erin was one of the winners, but did not know her art was selected for the calendar’s cover.
Ryan McNaughton, executive director of the Fairhaven Foundation and director of communications for Trumbull County Board of Developmental Disabilities, said 150 to 200 pieces of art were submitted from individuals who attended the Fairhaven School in Niles or Fairhaven Workshop in Champion and Niles. He said 11 individuals’ pieces were selected for the calendar, and 20 were given honorable mentions.
“We had artwork from school age to adult at everywhere we serve including private providers. Each piece has its own theme and is connected to the time of year it shows. The judges look over the entries and make their decision. It was a difficult decision with all the entries,” McNaughton said.
He said he has seen the artwork for the past four months and was amazed by the creativity of the work.
“The ability of all those who submitted work is inspiring,” McNaughton said.
Pam Simpson, one of the judges, provides free frames for the calendar winners.
The event also included 36 gift baskets and a snow blower giveaway.
He said the foundation helps families who have someone eligible to receive grants and funds for services through TCBDD. The funds also help with a food program and summer enrichment camp for clients.
“This is an event I look forward to every year. We celebrate the many artistic talents of our students and adults, and get a great product with a wonderful calendar,” said Superintendent Ed Stark.
Allison Lowe of Niles had a spring art piece selected for the calendar. Her mother, Amanda Morris, accompanied her to the event.
“My other daughter Jessica had artwork in a past calendar. Allison had a lot of fun painting,” Morris said.
Liberty resident Melissa Barker has two pieces selected for the calendar — one featuring trees and the other showed crosses for an Easter theme.
She said she likes to paint outdoor and nature scenes.