SCHWEINFURT, Germany -- A cartoon ceramic giraffe, an oil painting of a European landscape, and a pastel blue and yellow afghan took home the prizes for artists working in the U.S. Army Garrison Schweinfurt arts and crafts studio in the annual Department of the Army Arts and Crafts contest.

"They were excellent. I get to review everything before it gets pushed forward. Everything I saw was very good," said USAG Schweinfurt Crafts Studio Director David Haywood about this year's art submissions.

Contestants could enter artwork as novice or accomplished in any of the eleven categories for a possible first, second or third place prize Army-wide. Two honorable mentions could be given as well. Three or more judges, professionally involved in the arts, were selected to narrow down the submissions to winning entries for each category.

Regina Sheptock, family member 630th Military Police Company, took second place in the accomplished oil-based painting category.

"As a professional artist, I chose the genre of European landscape. Must husband and I chose this post here in Germany for that reason- he always wanted to go to Europe, and I always wanted to paint in Europe," said Sheptock, explaining how the inspiration helped complete that particular painting in a month.

"I wanted to stay creative while my husband was (deployed), and I kind of turned to painting for therapy," she said.

With her college degree in graphic and interactive communication, her day job consists of managing the digital training facility on Conn Barracks here.

Another second place ribbon was conferred to Sgt. Robert Durbin, of the 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, for his entry in the accomplished fibers category. His afghan, patched with numerous pastels, served as a gift of remembrance for his wife and son while he was deployed with the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment.

"I was trying to think of a way I could still comfort them even when I was not there to hold," Durbin said. And that's when he came up with the blanket idea. He worked on it at the Ledward Crafts Studio loom almost every day after work for a month until it was finished.

"It was a little peace of my heart I left behind for my wife and my son," he explained.

Cpt. Savannah Halleaux, of 9th Engineer Battalion, brought home a third place in novice ceramics for her giraffe entry.

"I had a pile of clay and a whole bunch of wacky, interesting glazes and just started building, and it turned into a giraffe," she said.
Halleaux has had a love of art since she was a child when she started out with modeling clay. Even so, she had no intention of submitting the cartoon giraffe in a contest when she first began making it. When Haywood mentioned it to her, she decided to give it a shot.

"I thought it was too silly for the competition," Halleaux said, explaining her surprise that the judges thought it worthy of an award.

Each Schweinfurt winner walked away with a money prize and special accolades for their works of art.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16