I'm very grateful for the time my fellow judges spent ranking the entries, and I'm honored to sit on the panel with comics legend Steve Parkhouse (a longtime hero of mine) and University College London's Dr. Helga Hlaðgerður Lúthersdóttir (an accomplished scholar whose insights I greatly value).
Congratulations to our three talented winners! The assignment was to create a piece that was on the theme of midwinter and contained at least one element from Norse mythology. Judging was based not only on technical ability; creativity and connection to myth and folklore were upmost in the minds of the judges. These young artists impressed all three of us, and I hope that they continue to explore the rich tradition of the lore and to create new works of original art.
Thanks to all who entered! We really enjoyed your work. I'm curious to see how your art will evolve over the coming years.
Note: You can click on the art to see larger versions.
Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Rowan writes: "It's a picture of Mother Holle hugging the sky to send snow to the small village below. She is dreaming about snow and protecting the good children in the village who have been working hard and who are now getting snow to play in. There is an elf peeking out from the clouds into the world of men to see what is happening. There is a person singing and a decorated tree because the people in the village have been working hard and they are now celebrating and relaxing with their families."
When my father was a little child in the German village of Wolfingen in the 1930s, his parents told him that the winter snow was caused by Frau Holle shaking out her down comforter in the clouds. He told me the story when I was a young kid in Chicago. I'm very happy to see that a new generation of children are learning this wonderful bit of old folklore!
|First Place: Rowan Chiment-Scimeca|
Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Laia writes, "This is the Yule Cat pulling a holiday sleigh. Freya's chariot is pulled by giant cats, so maybe the Yule Cat used to pull her chariot but left and now helps the spirits of Yule. The Yule Cat checks out which children have done their work and have new clothes and brings the sleigh with presents to the hard-working children. The Yule Cat's harness has a light on it so gifts can be delivered at night while everyone sleeps and to remind people that the sun is coming back. The gifts in the sleigh are small but when you take them off the sleigh they grow to full size."
What a creative piece! Dr. Lúthersdóttir says, "Excellent depiction of the independent cat who treads his own path as cats are wont to do. Very interesting merging of myth and folklore."
Asha writes, "This drawing is of Odin riding Sleipnir through the midwinter night."
Dr. Lúthersdóttir says that this is a "well-structured drawing of considerable talent." I agree, and I'm happy to see another winner from the class of Cathy Yeoman in Victoria, Australia. Her students won all three spots in the Midsummer 2013 and Midsummer 2014 kid's categories, and they took two of the top spots in the Midwinter 2013 contest. Cathy teaches Norse myth to her Class 4 students, and I would like to again thank her again for keeping the tradition alive. The world needs more teachers like her!
|Third Place: Asha D.|
Teen winners will be announced tomorrow!