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​ Preserve our Past Art and Essay Winners Announced

Students from Marion, Phillips, Pulaski, Benton, Sharp and Van Buren counties were the top winners in the 29th annual “Preserve Our Past” Art & Essay Invitational, sponsored by the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, an agency of Arkansas Heritage, a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. The winning submissions will be on display at Historic Arkansas Museum, 200 E. Third St., in Little Rock, on Friday, Sept. 11, during its virtual Second Friday Art Night event and will remain on display for visitors to the museum through Oct. 8.

Brooke Bitely of Pulaski Academy in Little Rock won first place in the fifth- and sixth-grade art division for a drawing of the Old Mill in North Little Rock. There were no essay submissions for fifth- and sixth-graders in the essay division.

Brent Wall of South Side Bee Branch won first place in the seventh- and eighth-grade art division for a drawing of the rustic arch at the CCC Camp in Damascus, and Matthias L. Gwinn of Siloam Springs won first place in the essay division for “A Willow Tree: The Elaine Massacre and Preserving Its Story.” Yahya Younus of Lisa Academy in Little Rock won second place in the essay division for “The Diamond State’s Heart: the VA Hospital.”

Other winners in the fifth- and sixth-grade art division were Ria Patel of Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, second place for a drawing of the State Capitol in Little Rock, and Mason Reid Simmons of Cave City Middle School, third place for a drawing of the Old State House in Little Rock. Honorable mention went to Emma Grace Kimball of Pulaski Academy for a drawing of Cabin 16 at Petit Jean State Park.

Other winners in the seventh- and eighth grade art division were Taylor Henley of Flippin Middle School, second place for a drawing of the Flippin Jail, and Kaylea Roberson of South Side Bee Branch, third place for a drawing of the Collums-Baker House. Honorable mention went to Natalie Leslie, South Side Bee Branch, for a drawing of the arch at the CCC Camp in Damascus. The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program is the Arkansas Heritage agency responsible for identifying, evaluating, registering and preserving the state’s cultural resources. Other agencies are the Arkansas Arts Council, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Historic Arkansas Museum and the Arkansas State Archives.