Three Brockway Students’ Art To Be Featured In LCB Calendar

BROCKWAY, Pa. (EYT) – Every year, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board invites students across the commonwealth to submit artwork for its calendar. 425 students entered artwork in this contest, with 43 winning a slot in the calendar. Three Brockway Area Junior-Senior High School students were among the 43.

The students all three competed in different groups. Brockway sophomore Hailey Ruberto took third place in her group. Senior Madison Barefield took second place in hers. A first-place honor went to freshman Nicole Jamison.

Hailey Ruberto, Madison Barefield, and Nicole Jamison had art chosen for the LCB Calendar.

“It’s a great honor to have one student selected,” Brockway Art Teacher Melanie Oknefski said, “but we have three this year! I am very proud of my students.”

Ruberto’s artwork focused on an alien in front of a star field with the text “Reach for the stars, not the bottle.” She was inspired by some surreal art she had been looking at recently.

“I really like funky characters, and I think that would get people’s attention, because weird things attract,” Ruberto said. “I like cartoons, and this idea fit better into my style. I mostly like to work with cartoonish art.”

Focusing on this contest allowed Ruberto to work on artistic discipline.

“It gave me time to draw every day,” she said. “I had the chance to work on my art and make it better.”

“I am straight edge, so I’m against both drugs and alcohol,” Barefield said. “I don’t want anything to do with alcohol. I did a mummy, representing how much alcohol could hurt someone. We only get one body. Why would you want to use things that damage it?”

Barefield’s happy cartoon mummy stands in front of the text, “Alcohol can damage your fragile body.”

Jamison’s first-place entry had a double meaning. She had garbage around fish in the ocean with the text, “Don’t get hooked on alcohol.” Her intention is to represent both the sea and a person’s body as important entities that should be cared for and not polluted.

“I thought of all the people throwing trash in the sea, and if people quit drinking, there wouldn’t be so much trash in the sea,” Jamison said. “It’s our world, we should treat it nicely.”

According to the Liquor Control Board, The Alcohol Awareness Poster Contest asks students to present “positive alternatives to underage drinking.” This is up to the student, but often focuses on sports or volunteerism. The winning designs will be reproduced across the state as posters or calendars.

While they are now recognized artists, the older students’ futures are not necessarily focusing on art. Ruberto wants to get a business degree and hopes to run a coffee shop someday. She plans to minor in art so she can do that on the side. Barefield will go to Penn State-Behrend in the fall, expecting to major in nursing.

Jamison, however, plans on going to art school to learn to be a working artist.

Oknefski and the students will go to the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg on April 3 to be honored. The winning posters are on display across from the museum from April 1 to April 5. Then the work will be collected in the Liquor Control Board’s calendar, which will be sent to state stores around Pennsylvania.

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