An afternoon art project at Nana's house produced more than just another keepsake for the refrigerator for 7-year-old Anna Shadrick.
Her colorful drawing of peppermints and holly has won the second-grader the 2018 Lin C. Parker Wrapping Paper Design Contest. A tradition at the Times Free Press since 2002, the Wrapping Paper Design Contest was renamed last year in memory of its founder, who died in September 2017.
Anna's original design is included in today's newspaper inserts as a real sheet of wrapping paper that readers may use for their Christmas gifts. On the flip side of the page are five honorable-mention designs from this year's competition, which drew more than 500 entries from students in grades 1-5.
"Anna's bright peppermints immediately caught our eyes," says Sara Jackson, design team leader at the Times Free Press. "We love how she made such precise circles, but then added a whimsical touch with swirls of red. The green leaves of the holly complement the red and white candies well. Taken all together, it just looks like Christmas."
Works by 15 finalists are on view at the Creative Discovery Museum, a co-sponsor of the contest with ArtsBuild and Chattanooga's Kids on the Block, which has Anna's design as an option at its gift-wrapping stations at Hamilton Place mall.
Works by the finalists, selected by representatives of the sponsoring organizations, also were posted online for public voting, earning a Readers' Choice win for 10-year-old Sadie Hernandez, a fourth-grader at City Park Elementary in Dalton, Georgia.
The eldest of three children of Chris and Abby Shadrick of Chickamauga, Georgia, Anna began her design knowing she wanted to draw peppermints. She wasn't sure about the secondary image. She started out with triads of holly, then tried a garland of bows and bells, but those lines were difficult to repeat.
"When I couldn't draw the lines good, I got frustrated," she says.
So it was back to the holly.
The Magic Marker peppermints dance across the page in random sizes. Her secret for those perfect circles? Lids from Nana's old medicine bottles and beauty products, Anna says. Nana is Patsy Shadrick of Rock Spring, Georgia.
Both motifs offer reason-for-the-season reminders that Anna learned at school, Oakwood Christian Academy in Chickamauga, her mom says.
The white and red peppermint candies represent the purity of Christ and the blood he shed on the cross. Likewise, holly's prickly leaves and red berries represent his crown of thorns and drops of blood.
Anna has taken an art class at Hobby Lobby, and she and her siblings, Amelia, 6, and Owen, 3, love to see what's in store when they visit Nana, who also loves to draw. "They do projects all the time at my mom's," Chris Shadrick says.
Abby Shadrick says she's especially proud of her daughter's gracious attitude toward winning.
"When I asked her, 'Did you want to win?' she said, 'I wanted God to decide.'"
Contact Lisa Denton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6281.