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    Ventura Art Tales Honors Writers of All Ages — June 8th


    Art Tales contest honors writers of all ages, from across the country; public invited to reception & reading June 8 at 5:30pm

    All participants of the City of Ventura’s 9th annual Art Tales “writing contest inspired by art” and the public are invited to attend a special reception and reading with refreshments at E.P. Foster Library, 2nd floor, 651 E Main St in downtown Ventura on Thursday, June 8 at 5:30 pm. Community members are invited and encouraged to hear the winners (announced below) read their entries and receive their prizes.

    Youth, high school and adult writers, from around the country, submitted a record 123 works of short fiction and poems inspired by City of Ventura’s Municipal Art Collection and public art created by artists Blue McRight & Warren Wagner, Tom McMillin, Leonard Poteshman and Michelle Stevens and team.  Contestants ranged in age from kindergarten to over 80 years old. Most entries came from Ventura County: 33 adults (18 & up); 30 teens (13-17); and 60 youth (12 & under). Many teachers from the Ventura Unified School District encouraged their students to enter.

    The five contest judges were Ventura County Poet Laureate Phil Taggart, Ventura County Librarian Irma Morales, Ventura Poet Richard Newsham, Ventura Library Advisory Commissioner Debbie Giles and Community Partnerships Manager Denise Sindelar. The judges received all entries “blind” – identified only by (1) a number, (2) the artwork that inspired it, (3) prose or poetry category and (4) age group of the writer.


    The 2017 winners of Art Tales are:

    Youth Poetry: 1st  Rachel Patrykus    2nd Gianne Garman     3rd  Katie Trevisan

    Youth Fiction: 1st  Sidney Crutz        2nd  Amy Baumgardner   3rd  Sienna Mody

    Teen Poetry:   1st  Penelope Duran    2nd  Jolee Niberding-Swanberg    3rd  Sophie Stimer

    Teen Fiction:    1st  Nadia Connelly   2nd  Calista Marsh    3rd  Anna Berezovskiy

    Adult Poetry:   1st  Melissa Waters    2nd  Andres Rodriquez    3rd  Anabelle Warren

    Adult Fiction:  1st  Patty Vickers       2nd  Juan David Cure     3rd  Rick Garcia


    “We thank all participants for sending in such beautiful poems or stories,” said Art Tales Curator Tobie Roach. “It is amazing to read the many ways the artworks in our Municipal Art Collection inspire more creativity than anyone could imagine.”

    Contact Information: Tobie Roach, Public Art Project Manager, 805/658-4759, [email protected] or visit


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