HWA's T-shirt design contest reveals blooming artist

By Haywood Waterways Association | May 27, 2014
Photo by: Christine O'Brien WINNING T-SHIRT — Shelby Reece holds up her winning design. Pictured with her, from left, are Rick Thomas; Reece's grandmother, Sandra Roberts; and Reece's mother, Paige Reece.

Shelby Reece, a student at Waynesville Middle School, won Haywood Waterways’ Kids in the Creek T-shirt design contest. Reece's winning design, “Jumping Trout,” will be featured on 800 T-shirts when the program happens this fall. Kids in the Creek is a critical part of the eighth grade learning experience and every student receives a free shirt to help them remember what they learned. This was the fourth year Haywood Waterways held the contest for the program’s recent alumni.

Rick Thomas, owner of Rikki Tikki Tees Screen Printing and Design shop, invited Reece to see the process of transforming her artwork from paper onto a T-shirt. For her efforts, she received the first shirt off the press and a $25 Wal-Mart gift card. Stephen Wenzel, a Waynesville Middle School student, was the runner-up for his entry “Kick Net” and received a $20 gift card from Nick and Nate’s Pizza.

This isn’t the first time Reece has been in the spotlight for her artistic ability. In 2011, she won second place in the Peace Poster contest sponsored by the Waynesville Lions Club.

“She has always been an artist,” said Paige Reece, Reece’s mother, “But she has improved dramatically this year. She has been focusing more on shadowing techniques and including people and animals in her artwork.”

Reece invited her mother and grandmother, Sandra Roberts, to join her on the tour of the graphics arts process. It is a delicate effort that requires attention to detail. Thomas invited everyone to make their own shirts. Reece was a little shy at first, but after her mother and grandmother made their own she stepped in, grabbed the color wheel, spread the paint and made her shirt.

This coming September marks the Kids in the Creek program's 17th year. Every eighth-grade public school student in Haywood County participates; to date the program has reached nearly 10,800 students. The program gets students out of the classroom and into the aquatic environment where they learn hands-on about watersheds, water chemistry, macroinvertebrates and fish found in local streams. Many students leave with a life changing experience and greater awareness of environmentally responsible behaviors that protect water resources for all users.

The event is cosponsored by Haywood County Schools with funding from the Pigeon River Fund of the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina and private donations. For more information on Kids in the Creek, to become a volunteer or sponsor, contact Eric Romaniszyn at info@haywoodwaterways.org or 476-4667.

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