Field Notes

May 5, 2021

Lilly Center Art Contest prompts local students to notice Kosciusko County’s natural beauty

This year, nearly 300 students throughout Kosciusko County (including public, private and homeschool groups) drew inspiration from local lake and streams to create art for the Lilly Center Art Contest.

The 20 winning pieces are now on display in the Warsaw Alley in downtown Warsaw, and at the Lilly Center!

Lilly Center Art Contest prompts local students to notice Kosciusko County’s natural beauty

Anna Arter created Ducks at Dawn, a first-place winner. “I really enjoyed working on all the intricate details and colors to make my piece life-like,” Arter said. “It was interesting to see how all the colors and textures came together. I never realized how many colors were actually in one object.”

Arter attends Whitko High School and is in Daniel Malicki’s art class. While preparing art for the Lilly Center’s contest, the class talked about how artists can intersect and impact conservation. They looked at well-known artists like John Audubon and Ansel Adams. “We talked about our observations and experiences in nature, and how we can make our experiences and observations relatable to the viewer,” Malicki explained.

The class decided their objective of their artwork was to help keep local waterways clean, and to preserve the beauty of nature for themselves and future generations.

Lilly Center Art Contest prompts local students to notice Kosciusko County’s natural beauty

Many of Arter’s classmates also submitted artwork. Here are some of their thoughts!

Ariel Ross: I enjoyed working with a lot of different colors and also the end result, knowing I put hard work into it and I can look back and be proud of my efforts. Through observation of lily pads, I learned that there are many different colors, instead of just green. I also learned how to create ripples in water.

Allyson Peconga: This was my first time painting. I learned how to blend and to create some different effects with brush techniques. When creating art, you have to focus on the smaller details to make an object look more real. Through observation, I learned about a duck’s form and some of the finer values and textures that make it look alive.

Ryce Noragon: I really enjoy painting! I like how you can layer paint to create different effects. I learned that our area (and the rest of Indiana) has many different birds and that they live in varying environments, so picking the right bird was a challenge.

Kaylee Gaff: I tried woodburning in the past, and for this assignment, I wanted to apply this new medium. For my second piece, I also experimented with watercolors to give a more vibrant effect.

Myra Buckles: I really enjoy working with color pencils; I like the way they blend. After working on this assignment I’ve become more aware of atmospheric perspective, or how objects look as they go into the distance. I also think I was able to improve on my ability to create more realistic textures and water.

Zoe Yarger: I used pastels for this piece and I really enjoy how you can layer your colors and blend them. I have always known about beavers making dams, but this project has made me more aware of the actual structure and all the intricate details.


Anna Arter | Ducks at Dawn

Gavin Born | Woods

Morgan Dyck | Dog Days

Estelle Jaumard | Dabbling Ducks

Allyson Peconga | Morning Cruise


Myra Buckles | The Bridge

Will Ellis | Zen at Dusk

Ariel Ross | Among the Lillies

Joshua Thurston | Lil’ Winona

Andrew Zink | To a Newt, a Stream is a River


Norah Ellis | Ducks at Dawn

Ryce Noragon | Birds of a Feather

Anna Robertson | Turtle in a River

Zoey Van Hawk | Fun Times at the Lake

Zoe Yarger | Nature’s Engineer


Kaylee Gaff | Just Keep Swimming

Katelynn King | Weeds in the Lake

Margot Sprankle | Seagull and Kites

Lincoln Rosswurm | Wandering Wilds

Vivian Piecuch | Hatching Turtle

The Lilly Center Art Contest motivates nine-to-18-year-old students to notice local water resources, and what lives in and around them. Participants range from public and private school art classes to homeschool groups, to individuals who simply enjoy creating.

After winners are selected by the art department at Grace College, the winning pieces are placed on display at locations throughout Kosciusko County. This summer, you can view them anytime in the Warsaw Alley. You can also view them at the Lilly Center! Our building is open from 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday.

Special thanks to Lake City Bank, Zimmer Biomet, and Dekko Foundation for underwriting the Lilly Center Art Contest!

Other sponsors of the contest include City of Warsaw Stormwater Utility, Clearwater Car Wash, Didage & Surgical Power, Joy Lohse, Kay Young – Todd Realty, Medtronic, The Papers, and The Watershed Foundation.