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Delaney McFarland's elevator drawing and Charlotte Lennon's 'Night Arch' win each of the girls $150 in cash

COURTESY PHOTO - Charlotte Lennon's 'Night Arch' won her $150 in cash and publication in the next issue of Oregon City's Trail News. Oregon City's Municipal Elevator and Arch Bridge inspired top teenage artists in this year's Preserve Our Past contest.

COURTESY PHOTO - Preserve Our Past art contest winners included Charlotte Lennon, Gabriel Benischeck and Lexis Devries.Delaney McFarland's elevator drawing and Charlotte Lennon's "Night Arch" won each of the girls $150 in cash and publication in the next issue of Oregon City's Trail News.

The Preserve Our Past Art and Poetry Contest, put on by the historic Ermatinger House and the Oregon City Optimist Club, provides youth the opportunity to explore local sites that are 50 years or older, said Emily Tierney, recreation programmer for Oregon City's parks department.

"From Oregon City's most iconic sites, to historic houses you can pass on the street, the submissions covered it all," Tierney said. "Each piece was chosen with intention by the artist and poets and brought a unique perspective to the city's historic places and sites."

COURTESY PHOTO - Quinn Wardwell (left) and Delaney McFarland join their families on the Ermatinger House porch to celebrate their victory.Tierney focused on the content of the contest, advertising and communicating with applicants. Optimist Club members provided support with outreach and provided monetary awards for the winners. Second-place winners received $100 in each of the three contest categories, and third-place winners got $50 each.

Tierney credited the Optimist Club with helping the city choose the age range to target with the contest, as the nonprofit organization's mission is to support Oregon City youth

"Three Rivers Artist Guild and a couple of Optimist members helped with judging/scoring the pieces as well," Tierney said.

In addition to repeating the contest next year, Tierney plans to have the art pieces travel around Oregon City through a blend of a virtual and in-person art and poetry exhibit. Click here to see all the awarded pieces.

Art Category, ages 11-13

First place: Charlotte Lennon's "Night Arch," the Oregon City Arch Bridge at night.

Second place: Gabriel Benischeck for his colorful piece of Singer Creek Falls.

Third place: Lexis Devries' detailed drawing of the Eva Emery Dye House.

Poetry Category, ages 11-13

First place: Freya Steed's "Willamette Falls."

Second place: Noah Graf's "The Lift of the Cliff."

Third place: Adelaide Contreras' "What the Oregon City Elevator Means to Me."

Art Category, ages 14-16

First place: Delaney McFarland's elevator drawing.

Second place: Quinn Wardwell's portrait of Dr. Forbes Barclay.

Third place: Mary Cruz's interpretation of trains traveling through Oregon City.

COURTESY PHOTO - Poetry winners in Preserve Our Past contest join their families at the historic Ermatinger House.


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