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Art contest centered around city’s history

Candi Duncan, left, and Cindy Stoudenmire place two drawings Stoudenmire did of the front of Selma's old YMCA building on display Thursday at the Dallas Academy Building. (Jay Sowers | Times-Journal)

Candi Duncan, left, and Cindy Stoudenmire place two drawings Stoudenmire did of the front of Selma’s old YMCA building on display Thursday at the Dallas Academy Building. (Jay Sowers | Times-Journal)

The Selma Dallas County Historic Preservation Society is hosting their first Historic Art Contest this month, and the contest winners will split $500 in winnings.

Students in the third to 12th grade at public or private schools in Dallas County are invited to enter the contest that organizer Candi Duncan said is aimed at improving historical awareness and pride in Selma and Dallas County.

“This is about promoting interest in preservation,” Duncan said. “And it’s important to get people involved in it at a young age because tourism is pretty big in Selma and there is so much more we can do here for tourism and preservation. We want everybody to be interested in it because we do have lot of history to celebrate here in Selma.”

The students are invited to create original works based on any building or site in Dallas County that has historical significance. Duncan said every entry must be of a different site, and should include a written explanation of the site’s historical significance.

Artist Cindy Stoudenmire said she feels the architecture in Selma is something locals take for granted.

“We have so many old buildings in town and most of us just drive by them and don’t think about it,” Stoudemire said. “But when you really get in to drawing them and looking at how they are put together, you find out they are works of art themselves.”

Stoudenmire said getting young people from around Selma to understand the importance of historic preservation is vital to the city’s future.

“These kids are the future of Selma, and if you don’t have the younger kids looking after it, you’ll lose all of these beautiful structures,” Stoudenmire said. “So we need to instill in them the value of these buildings and the importance of preservation.”

Entrants are welcome to complete their pieces in nearly any medium, something Stoudenmire said organizers did to let the young artists express themselves.

“We don’t want to limit their creativity,” Stoudenmire said. “As long as you can make people feel something with what you are doing, then it’s art.”

All works must be submitted to the Ceramic Art Program entrance of the Dallas Academy Building at 816 Selma Ave. by Monday, May 19.

After all the pieces are looked over by a panel of judges, winners will be announced at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 20 on historicselma.org.

For more information, contact Duncan at 412-8550.