SAN ANTONIO (Sept. 10, 2013) -- Chief Warrant Officer 3 Lisa Stansbury, one of 95 "winners" in the 2013 Army Arts & Crafts Contest, never thought war would lead her to such a place in life.

"Soldiers are predominantly impatient people, especially when it comes to procrastination," Stansbury said. "When we come home from war, it's even more pronounced, and we need help transitioning back into society. Sometimes we need to find things to soothe and calm our spirits. Some Soldiers take up fishing, some write, others go to therapy -- all of which demand our patience -- or it won't work."

Stansbury, of Camp Red Cloud, Korea, took up painting with glass, and her "Old Glory" earned first-place honors in the contest for Army personnel and their family members, retirees, and Department of Defense civilians.

"Initially, I thought that the deployment changed me forever, and not in a good way," she said. "Looking back, the fact that the deployment led me to working with glass, it did change me forever. Everything happens for a reason, and I'm so grateful for that change and new passion in my life."

The annual contest featured two levels of competition among accomplished and novice artists, whose crafts were judged in nine categories: ceramics, digital art (non-photography), drawings, fibers/textiles, glass, metals/jewelry, mixed media, painting and wood.

The San Antonio-based judges were April Atkinson, visual arts head at Our Lady of the Lake University; Denise Knebel, a retired Air Force chief master sergeant and mobile art program teacher for Southwest School of Art; and Rudy Lopez, manager of the arts and crafts program at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

Larry Noller, of Fort Campbell, Ky., took first place in the accomplished artists' digital art category with "Rakkassans Have Arrived."

"I began by creating a freehand line drawing using a digital tablet and stylus," said Noller, who estimated that he spent about 100 hours on the project. "Multiple color layers were stacked behind the line drawing and saturation and density adjusted to give the image a 'graphic novel' feel. The end result has 11 layers and sufficient detail to print poster size with no visible loss of quality."

David Sohl earned first-place honors in the accomplished artists' mixed media category with "Goodbye U.S. Army Heidelberg."

"When I decided to create this sculpture, I wanted to ensure that I captured the longstanding and enduring relationship between the United States and Germany," Sohl said. "I wanted everything to be authentic, so the handshake in the center of the sculpture was done with a mold of my hand and the hand of an American friend of mine, who has worked in Germany as a Soldier and now as a civilian."

Sohl, however, could not resist getting artsy with his craft.

"The American flag is not a literal representation because I wanted to create a work of art that is unique and not representative of a poster or photo," he explained. "The idea is I wanted to show the sadness of the Americans leaving Heidelberg after all of these years. I chose the patina blue because not only does blue represent sadness, but the patina gives it a unique and special look."

As an artisan, quite naturally, Sohl thrust great thought into his hue of blue and the durability of bronze.

"For me, Americans in Heidelberg was something special," he said. "The stars and stripes of the flag are in the patina blue because one of the colloquial names of the U.S. flag is the 'Stars and Stripes' and I really wanted those parts of the flag to stand out, because the stars and stripes are the essence of the flag and all it stands for. Lastly, I chose bronze because it is a material that endures, like the friendship between Germany and the United States."

From Rakkassans arriving to Americans departing, arts and crafts provide many forms of communication with few rules to follow. Ditto for judging such contests, where second or third place might be awarded to more than one entrant. Or to none at all, as these results attest.

Military family member Ekaterina Reier took first place in the accomplished artists' glass category with "United States Army Seal in Stained Glass," a piece that measures 16 inches in diameter and spent 70 hours in the kiln.

"The image is painted using a century-old technique you can still observe in ancient stained glass windows," said Reier, of Fort Bragg, N.C. "The paint is made out of glass ground to a fine powder and mixed with a medium, such as oil. After each color application, the piece needs to be fired in a kiln to temperatures up to 1,250 degrees Fahrenheit. The paint vitrifies onto the glass and becomes a permanent part in the process. Each cycle takes around 10 hours, so this piece spent approximately 70 hours in the kiln."

In the wood category for accomplished artists, Milton Smith of Yongsan, Korea, earned first- and third-place honors with "Pet Coffin" and "Korean House."

Michael Surinani of Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., and Abigail Fay of Stuttgart, Germany, had a wrap on the novice artists' metal and jewelry category. Suriani took first place with "Sentry" and third with "Angel Fish." Fay took runner-up honors with "Paper My Way" and received an honorable mention for "Twisted."

Complete results of the 2013 Army Arts & Crafts Contest, listed by category, judged place, military rank (if any), artist name, installation, and name of artwork:

2013 Army Arts & Crafts Contest


Ceramics: 1. Myrna Hawkins, Fort Hood, Texas, "Raku Face;" 2. Sgt. James Bennett, Fort McCoy, Wis., "Squirrel Gathering Nuts;" 3. Leslie Wood, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., "Woodland Creature Tuck." Honorable mention: Myrna Hawkins, "Raku Man;" Staff Sgt. AmyLouise Brown, Fort Meade, Md., "Wood Fired Lidded Bowl;" Eloisa Armstrong, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, "Raku Koi Vessel."

Digital art (non-photography): 1. Larry Noller, Fort Campbell, Ky., "Rakkassans Have Arrived;" 2. Kira Aynrina Miller, Fort Bragg, N.C., "Euphoria."

Drawings: 1. Dolly Georgieva-Gode, Fort Campbell, Ky., "Wicked Potion;" 2. Dolly Georgieva-Gode, "The Drug Lords of Sugar;" Spc. Lauren Chezik, Fort Knox, Ky., "French Boy;" 3. Christina Taylor, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., "Azteca." Honorable mention: Michelle Naragon, Fort Riley, Kan., "Figure Study" and "Female Portrait;" Dolley Georgieva-Gode, "Transcendence;" Andrew Washington, Kaiserslautern, Germany, "The Way We Were;" Wanda White, Fort Lee, Va., "The Talk;" Christina Taylor, "Elisha."

Fibers and textiles: 1. Peggy Schadler, Vicenza, Italy, "Artichoke in Bloom;" 2. Caitlin Sappington, Camp Carroll, Korea, "Hanji Paper Dolls."

Glass: 1. Ekaterina Reier, Fort Bragg, N.C., "United States Army Seal In Stained Glass;" 2. Ekarterina Reier, "Warrior Maiden Slaying Dragon;" 3. Linda Zorichak, Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa., "The Real Jersey Shore." Honorable mention: Laurie Hartman, Fort Detrick, Md., "Striped Menorah" and "Geometric Hybrid;" Linda Zorichak "Flower of the Lost Art."

Metals and jewelry: 1. Guzialia Reed, Camp Zama, Japan, "KaSandra, Bohemian style necklace;" 2. Leslie Wood, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., "Monster Pendant One Eye;" 3. Myrna Hawkins, Fort Hood, Texas, "Twisted Copper." Honorable mention: Leslie Wood, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., "African Shield Series Copper Wheel;" Guzialia Reed, Camp Zama, Japan, "Laura, Bohemian style necklace."

Mixed media: 1. David Sohl, Heidelberg, Germany, "Goodbye U.S. Army Heidelberg;" 2. Peggy Schadler, Vicenza, Italy, "Beach On My Mind;" 3. Leslie Wood, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., "Monsters and Mechanicals Art Journal." Honorable mention: Peggy Schadler, "Page;" Myrna Hawkins, Fort Hood, Texas, "Never Forget" and "Redeemed;" Mary Vonghom, Camp Zama, Japan, "Mx4 (Marilyn Monroe Mixed Media);" Staff Sgt. Amylouise Brown, Fort Meade, Md., "Torn Hearts Monotype;" Dolly Georgieva-Gode, Fort Campbell, Ky., "Serene;" Hanna Santos, Camp Red Cloud, Korea, "Friends."

Paintings: 1. David Sohl, Heidelberg, Germany, "Europe;" 2. Spc. Lauren Chezik, Fort Knox, Ky., "Nothing;" 3. Spc. Rasoul Fadavi, Fort Polk, La., "RF2." Honorable mention: Andrew Washington, Kaiserslautern, Germany, "Bessy;" Dolly Georgieva-Gode, Fort Campbell, Ky., "Vibrant;" Master Sgt. Martin Cervantez, Wiesbaden, Germany, "Emerging;" Un Son Watson, Yongsan, Korea, "River in the Woods."

Wood: 1. Milton Smith, Yongsan, Korea, "Pet Coffin;" 3. Milton Smith, "Korean House." Honorable mention: Mary Vonghom, Camp Zama, Japan, "Barrack Barrack."


Ceramics: 1. Peggy Schadler, Vicenza, Italy, "Blue Cloud Crackle;" 2. Ardyce Adams, Fort Campbell, Ky., "Sunbather;" 3. Ardyce Adams, "Spring Vase." Honorable mention: Yoko Komiya, Yongsan, Korea, "Paeon's healing powers."

Digital art (non-photography): 1. Rodney Rodgers, Camp Walker & Henry, Korea, "Digital drawing;" 2. Erin McGowan, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., "Waiting for Her Soldier;" 3. Peggy Schadler, Vicenza, Italy, "Red Hat Lady."

Drawings: 1. Spc. Tiffany Gardiner, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, "Butterflies Journey;" 2. Shona Neary, West Point, N.Y., "Connected Always;" 3. Jessica Vanzee, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., "Changing Time." Honorable mention: Sue Vargo, Stuttgart, Germany, "Whisper;" Rachel Hitchcock, Fort Bragg, N.C., "Jacob;" Louise Clutter, Camp Zama, Japan, "The Little Army Brat."

Fibers and textiles: 1. Penny Doucette, Fort Bragg, N.C., "Getting Along;" 2. Ruth Porter, Yongsan, Korea, "Patriotic Star Quilt;" 3. Anne Rivera, Kaiserslautern, Germany, "Nest." Honorable mention: Emma Hill, Fort Benning, Ga., "Baby quilt in yellow and gray;" Angela Kaehr, Army Recruiters, "Patriotic Shooting Stars;" Penny Doucette, Fort Bragg, N.C., "Cali."

Glass: 1. Chief Warrant Officer 3 Lisa Stansbury, Camp Red Cloud, Korea, "Old Glory;" 2. Jeffrey Teska, Fort Detrick, Md., "Oriental Dragon and Tiger;" 3. Hollie Vires, Fort Bragg, N.C., "Hibiscus Garden."

Metals and jewelry: 1. Michael Suriani, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., "Sentry;" 2. Abigail Fay, Stuttgart, Germany, "Paper My Way;" 3. Michael Suriani, "Angel Fish." Honorable mention: Abigail Fay, "Twisted."

Mixed media: 1. Staff Sgt. Charles Raby, Fort Hood, Texas, "Army Cigar Box Guitar Tactical Kit;" 2. Sara Dunn, Stuttgart, Germany, "Rococo;" 3. Anne Rivera, Kaiserslautern, Germany, "Fire and Earth." Honorable mention: Jessic Vanzee, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., "Standing Out in a Crowd" and "Unstable."

Paintings: 1. Sara Dunn, Stuttgart, Germany, "Flags;" 2. Jung Min Janey, Yongsan, Korea, "Summer Solace;" 3. Horst Lemley, Camp Humphreys, Korea, "Seoul at Night." Honorable mention: Chief Warrant Officer 2 Michael Hardt, Yongsan, Korea, "Hovering Blackhawk;" Gee Wheeler, Yongsan, Korea, "Nature;" Jessica Vanzee, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., "Aging and Changing."

Wood: 1. Sgt. 1st Class David Sayers, Fort Riley, Kan., "Mission Style Cherry Bed;" 2. Stephen Wahlig, Yongsan, Korea, "Sal Spotted Spalted Sycamore;" and Sgt. 1st Class David Sayers, "Dart Board Cabinet;" 3. Sgt. Kyle Hagemann, Bamberg, Germany, "Kyle's Cigar Box Ukelele." Honorable mention: Stephen Wahlig, Yongsan, Korea, "Fishin' Addiction;" Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Twyman, Fort Campbell, Ky., "Carved Spool;" Dakota Decker, Yongsan, Korea, "Native American Love Flute;" Michael Phillips, Ansbach, Germany; "Conoid Chair."