By Anne Eickstadt

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTOS Belvidere Daily Republican
(Left to Right) Abbey Brynolf, Mayor Mike Chamber-lain, Brad Peters of Sister Cities, Leigh Addotta of Alpine Bank, Alex Avila, Alpine Bank President Don Banks, and Angel Gabrielle Del Rosario Torio at the Sister Cities Youth Art Showcase Awards Presenta-tion.


The 29th Annual Young Artists’ Showcase drew record crowds to the Alpine/Midland Bank on Saturday, May 17 for the award ceremony.

“The City Council is thrilled with the level of talent in the community,” said Mayor Chamberlain.

Bank president Don Banks said, “It’s an honor to be able to sponsor this today.”

Since 1988, the Sister Cities Association of Belvidere has been an active, engaged member of Sister Cities International. Over the past 20 years, scores of volunteers have worked to establish and nurture relationships with our two sister cities: Schwieberdingen, Germany and Vaux-le-Penil, France.

For two weeks each summer, four Boone County teenagers experience life in one of our sister cities through participation in our youth exchange program. In a reciprocal agreement, teenagers from our sister cities are then welcomed into our community to experience life here.

With their youth exchange program and Young Artists contest, Belvidere Sister Cities has been praised for having the Best Youth Program for Sister Cities in Illinois.

This year’s contest theme was ‘The Art of Diplomacy.’

The young artists were asked to tell the judges what inspired them to create their work. Here is what they had to say:

International Unification: Alex Avila, first place winner:

“I began by analyzing the theme and thinking of ways to express it my own style. Noticing the key term ‘diplomacy’, I knew I wanted to include various symbols that relate to international relationships. This is why I included the passports on all the hands. They emphasize just some of the many countries in our world that come together and strengthen their bonds. Also, I made sure that the people represented diversity because it is an important part in our lives.

“Inspecting further into the art, I included items that the people in the regions have as part of their custom and traditions. The lines going from one passport to another are showing…

For full article, pick up the March 28 Belvidere Daily Republican.

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