An EDSS student’s tribute to veterans has received provincial recognition. Shana Mitchell’s entry into the Royal Canadian Legion’s Remembrance Day poster contest finished second in Ontario in the black and white category.
“I just wanted to capture the seriousness behind it, and how much it affected people,” said Mitchell, a Grade 12 student.
The hand-drawn poster features silhouettes of soldiers across the bottom with hands holding a 3D poppy with the words “Their Sacrifice Our Freedom” written across the top.
“I chose that because I wanted to capture just how it was their sacrifice, and they fought for our freedom. And I had the poppy just for symbolism,” she explained.
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Richard Clausi of the Elmira branch of the Legion emphasized the level of respect in Mitchell’s entry.
“Quite often people see in art something that the artist may not have put in, I guess it’s the beauty of poetry, essays and especially art. You bring your own interpretation to it. If it can create a little bit of reflection, a little bit of thought, it is a good piece of art. This one does get you thinking – there’s simplicity and yet a depth in the drawing. When I saw that, I was moved and our veterans were moved,” he explained.
However, Mitchell did not have a specific message she was trying to send with her poster.
“I just wanted to capture the [impact it had on] people and just they fought for freedom.”
Mitchell’s entry was just one of around 400 entered to the Elmira branch from 10 participating schools. The local entries were judged by a team of 21 people, including veterans, Legion members, local artist Dan Holt and other community members.
Mitchell’s poster finished first at each of the local zone (12 branches) and district levels, which goes from Sarnia to Owen Sound and includes most of southwestern Ontario, excluding the GTA, before being submitted to the provincial level, finishing second in the Ontario Provincial Command.
The number of entries highlights the importance of remembrance, Clausi said.
“Our team was quite impressed with all of the entries. We’re talking about almost 400 entries.”
Mitchell won several awards in the Legion contest from 2015-2018, including in both poster and literary competitions. Entering again this year, she did not expect to win.
“It was a shock when I got beyond the regional level and went on to the provincial level,” she said.
Mitchell is a “wonderful and talented,” person, Clausi said.
“You always hope when you shake hands with these people a little bit of their talent somehow rubs off on you through a kind of osmosis.”