FLEMINGTON, N.J. – Four of the top 15 posters in Cabrini University’s Art + Effect High School Poster Contest came from students in the Graphic Design Program at Polytech Career and Technical High School. 

Cabrini selected the 15 winners out of 186 poster submissions from students in 20 high schools throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The winning artists representing Polytech are Saige Brelsford, Garrett Loescher, Myia Smith, and Domontaa Thomas. All are enrolled in the Graphic Design Program, taught by Instructor Cynthia Dailey.

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Through this year’s contest, the university challenged students in grades 9-12 to design conceptual posters that raise awareness of mental health issues, with the ultimate goal to change the stigma of mental health. The winners will display their powerful posters in an exhibition in the Gorevin Gallery at Cabrini University from Dec. 8  through Jan. 31, 2020. The artists will participate in an opening reception and awards presentation tomorrow from 1 to 3 p.m.

 "I was most impressed with the students' understanding of the subject matter,” said Dailey. “They brought their own personal experiences to the poster and design. The amount of research they did to ensure they fully understood the particular subject they were communicating was impressive. They were very diligent in receiving critiques and going through refinement. They did an outstanding job."

"I chose the topic of suicide,” said Thomas. “There is a rapper named Logic who made a song about suicide. I incorporated his lyrics and the phone number mentioned in it. I wanted to portray the light that comes from calling the phone number, or reaching out for help.” 

Brelsford aimed to communicate feelings associated with anxiety through her design. “When people are anxious, they may feel out of control and as if everything is intense, scary, and messy. I wanted to get people's attention and help those who don't have anxiety understand it,” she said.

This is the third year Cabrini has run the Art + Effect High School Poster Contest as a way for students to use their art to address important issues in today’s world. Dailey has encouraged her students to participate each year and has celebrated multiple winners from Polytech.

Hunterdon County Polytech High School is the largest component of Hunterdon County Vocational School District (HCVSD). Polytech (polytech.hcvsd.org) is the district’s shared-time high school that prepares students for a seamless transition to college and career paths. HCVSD also operates an Adult & Continuing Education school and three science-based academies. Learn more at www.hcvsd.org.