EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - Kids in the Chippewa Valley got the chance to express their feelings about 2020 through an art competition.
Baredfeet, Co. in Eau Claire hosted "Expressions of 2020," a contest where children from kindergarten to 12th grade submitted art pieces that were judged on how well they combined the good and the bad of 2020.
The pieces were also judged on creativity, originality and overall impression.
Eighth grader Lillian Hoeschen of Regis Middle School uses watercolor paint and colored pencils to create art, but she won first place and $200 for her digital self-portrait using an iPad and Apple pen.
Her winning piece shows her crying while wearing a red mask and holding the world on fire as it melts in her hands.
There's also flowers, musical notes, and COVID viruses.
"I thought that I would struggle to find the good things to put in there because I thought 'Oh, well putting the bad things of 2020 would be, is going to be really easy.' And I was not sure what good things I'm going to be able to incorporate, but it was actually a lot easier than I thought. And it is really fun to just hear that I won first place. I was super excited," Lillian said.
Other entries included paintings, drawings, a photograph, and a comic.
Baredfeet Director and Founder Lynn Buske said they've held art competitions in the past, but hoped the one this year would be extra therapeutic for students.
"We firmly believe that the arts are a powerful way for people to work through their stresses," Buske said. "It's a very healthy outlet. We had concerns this year just knowing that people were dealing with a lot more on their plates with the pandemic and such and we thought how can we help facilitate some healing on that?"
16-year-old Elizabeth Schneider from Regis High School earned $100 for second place and ninth grader Alice Buske of Memorial High School received $50 for third place.
Click/tap here to see the other entries on BaredFeet's Instagram.