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Fifth grader Rosalee Stokes wins first prize in SWAB Recycling Art Contest

One of the displays near Kodiak High School’s Auditorium, March 16, 2023. (Brian Venua/KMXT)
One of the displays near Kodiak High School’s Auditorium, March 16, 2023. (Brian Venua/KMXT)

The Kodiak Island Borough’s Solid Waste Advisory Board recently announced the winners of its youth art competition. Some of the winners’ art is on display at Kodiak High School.

The Solid Waste Advisory Board has named Rosalee Stokes the first prize winner of an art competition they held in February. The North Star Elementary fifth grader’s matboard drawing features wildlife encouraging a human to recycle on a beautiful summer day.

But Rosalee wasn’t the only winner; prizes were also awarded to 1st grader Dane Ennenga, 2nd grader Ruby Kesling, and 5th grader Aimee Beltran. The group prize went to Sarah Powers’ fourth grade class at Main Elementary.

Kerry Irons is on the borough’s solid waste advisory board. She says their goal was to connect with the community and solicit art for future educational materials.

“We wanted to have this art contest for a very specific purpose, at least this first one, and that was to get art that we can use for posters and other kinds of outreach,” she said.

Now that the competition is finished, one plan is to use the kids’ art on reusable shopping bags. Irons says tote bags seem few and far between lately, and the board hopes to sell them at the Kodiak Crab Festival in May.

“We’ve explored websites where we can get tote bags or shopping bags made and delivered here and it’s a reasonably quick turnaround time,” she said.

The board also hopes to feature stickers and posters at their Crabfest booth.

This was the first time they have hosted an art competition. Irons says they learned a lot about planning, and they hope to make it an annual event.

“Next year, hopefully it will be more efficient and more timely and we’re already talking about a three-dimensional art show where kids can make things with recycled materials or recyclable materials and make sculpture-type things too,” she said.

Winners were able to choose various prizes paid for by the board. Mrs. Powers’ class chose to have flower bulbs around the Main Elementary school. Second place winner Dane Ennenga chose to take his class on a field trip to the touch tank on Near Island. As for Rosalee Stokes, she chose to give her class a set of stainless steel water bottles.