OA: Students submit artwork to Clifton entryway contest

Jenny Meeker, 17, CHS Senior with her idea for the Clifton entryway design.

Trinity Mathis with her design for the Clifton entryway

Trinity Mathis, 11, said her fifth-grade teacher at Thunder Mountain Elementary School told the class to “explain Clifton in a picture.”

So, Trinity used charcoal to draw Mount Garfield, a giant peach, a bottle of wine and vineyards.

From the eight Clifton-area schools, there were 54 design submissions to the Clifton Entryway Design Contest. They are on display at Mesa County Libraries’ Clifton Branch and Alpine Bank’s Clifton Branch.

Elementary through high school students entered drawings, collages and clay and papier maché pieces inspired by the community, the natural surroundings or local history.

The winners, to be announced Wednesday, April 29, will take home savings bonds and could see their artwork applied to a rock sculpture or a banner that identifies Clifton in the city entryway. The intersection of the Interstate 70 Business Loop and Patterson Road is being considered as a possible location for the artwork.

“I love art,” Trinity said.

A still life is her favorite thing to draw. She rides horses and a had a chicken named Spotty that once fell asleep with her pet basset hound, she said. After her recent birthday, her dad, Joe Mathis, let her start wearing dangling earrings.

“I can be proper, and then I can be country,” Trinity said, in a matter-of-fact way.

If her charcoal drawing wins the contest, she plans to tuck away the savings bonds for college. She wants to be a veterinarian or a landscape designer.

Trinity was careful to smudge her charcoal drawing with her fingertips so the landscape would blend into the skyline.

After surveying the competition, her father reassured Trinity that her drawing was marketable.

The contest’s submissions range from a drawing of a spider wearing shoes to a drawing of Clifton logos.

Displayed alongside Trinity’s charcoal landscape is a drawing of one dinosaur chomping down on another dinosaur’s tail and a drawing of a lake at night with two fishermen with word bubbles that say, “Fishing is fun” and “I agree.”

“There were some interesting ones, some abstract ones,” said Keith Fife, division director for Mesa County Long Range Planning. The contest was organized by the planning division and School District 51.

What’s important, though, is for the student artists to participate, he said.

“I think it’s just great for this community to say we’re proud of where we live,” said Terri Smatla, Community Partnership Coordinator for the school district.

Jenny Meeker, 17, was the only student from Central High School to enter the contest.

“I guess, I was the only brave one to take a chance,” she said.

Jenny created a slab rolled clay rendition of Mount Garfield. It is glazed and fired.

She likes the 3D aspect of the piece.

“It’ll look cool in stone,” Jenny said, thinking of how her work could appear as sculpture for the Clifton entryway.

Right now, she’s not too worried about the contest. The high school senior is focused on her last day of high school before graduation on May 13.

“I can’t wait, it’s all I think about,” she said.


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