Children’s Artwork Lines Streets of Athens

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New banners are being hung from the light poles in downtown Athens this week featuring children’s artwork with the theme “Live Healthy, Love Athens.”

Barb Kostohryz of Live Healthy Appalachia approached Athens City Council and other organizations about the project to incorporate children’s artwork in the downtown area. After getting the thumbs up, a poster contest was held for children in the Athens City School District.

Twenty-three winners were selected to have their designs printed on 4 foot by 2 foot banners. In total, there will be 32 banners installed.

According to Kostohryz, Live Health Appalachia hosts a poster contest each year for children to submit designs about living healthy, which are then used on billboards in the county. She said that the organization gets lots of great art, but can’t use it all. The banner project is a way to get more of the art in the public’s eye.

Live Healthy Appalachia banner
Students in the Athens school district were asked to submit poster designs depicting what it means to live healthy and love Athens. The design seen above is by William Morosko, age 10. (John Halley/Athens Messenger)

On Monday, the winners were invited to show off their banner designs to Athens City Council.

Councilwoman Michele Papai said that having artwork in the downtown area — especially children’s work — makes the city feel like home to residents and visitors.

Mayor Paul Wiehl said he was impressed with all the artwork.

Installation of the banners began on Monday. Kostohryz said the banners will be on display for several months.

The winners of the contest are: Lydia Cass, Kenadi Clemons, Abbi Bolin-Ervin, Eliza Dennis, Chelsea Walls, William Morosko, Nathan Pooler, Olivia Kaiser, Elaina Wolf-Poling, Oliver Pyle, Alexandra Jordan, Lakyn Bowser, Kylie Tinkam, Sadie Coriell, Mackenzie Hedges, Emi Olin, Mya Martin, Victoria Paige Frazee, Anika Dennis, Madaline James, Kennedy Cantrell, Gene Kim and Chloe Leonard.