By Anne Eickstadt

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Daily Republican
“International Unification” by Alex Avila, finalist at nationals.


When Belvidere’s 29th annual Sister Cities Art Showcase judges chose their winning entries on March 17, they had no idea how far the first place entry would go. They sent the painting on to compete at the national show where the judges have chosen it to be a finalist at the national level.

This is the notification letter (dated June 26) that Alex Avila received:

“Dear Alex Avila,

On behalf of Sister Cities International, I am proud to inform you that your artwork was selected as a finalist in the 2018 Young Artist Showcase. We received many creative pieces interpreting the theme ‘The Art of Diplomacy.’ After much deliberation, our judges decided on your piece as a finalist.

Your piece, ‘International Unification,’ along with the ten other Finalists, will be displayed at the 2018 Annual Conference in Aurora, Colorado from August 2-4. All finalist art will go on a tour to select Sister City locations around the country for the rest of the year. The full schedule will be posted on our website this summer, along with pictures of all the winning entries.

Enclosed is the certificate of achievement for your entry. I want to commend you for your hard work and talent, and I hope that you have enjoyed participating as much as we have enjoyed your artwork.


All the best,

Roger-Mark De Souza

President and CEO

Sister Cities International”

The letter holds a hand-written note as well: “Wow!” it reads. “Heartfelt congratulations – this is wonderful!”

The Sister Cities competition artists were asked to describe what they painted and why they had chosen to paint what they had.

“I began by analyzing the theme and thinking of ways to express it my own style,”…

For complete article, pick up the July 8 BDR.

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