Cray-Pas® Art Contest Professionally Benefits Art Teacher

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Sakura shows how entering its annual art contest professionally benefitted a teacher and how parents support art for their children's well-rounded education.

After 10 years of shifting from class to class teaching art, Lori Snable of Sonoma Elementary in Modesto, Calif. was finally presented with a permanent classroom, last school year. Dubbed Ms. Lori's Art Studio, Snable has a place to permanently store her art supplies rather than lugging them around and wasting valuable teaching time to set-up. Snable credits her students' perennially high placement in Sakura of America's Wonderful, Colorful World Art Contest, now in its 11th year, as a key reason for gaining a permanent art learning space.

Last year Snable wrote to Sakura, “Thank you for all the great events that have happened since last year's contest wins. The support is incredible. As a result, I have been given my own classroom in 10 years of teaching at Sonoma Elementary.”

Snable continues, telling how a permanent place enhances students' art opportunities, “We have also acquired wonderful self-portrait mirrors so students can find inspiration from within. And so much more, including reproductions of great artists' self-portraits and several of their works. Having a dedicated art room has been a wonderful addition. Thank you sincerely.”

While standardized testing in reading, writing and mathematics still holds sway over liberal arts, parents still see the advantage at how a well-rounded education, including art, benefits their children. At Snable's school, a classroom reassignment proposal would have eliminated the art room. The resultant uproar by students, parents and staff saved the art room and the unique Sonoma school art program will continue.

With Snable's story in mind, Sakura announces that it is accepting submissions to its 2006 Wonderful, Colorful World Art Contest for its Cray-Pas Jr. Artist® brand of oil pastels. Entries must be primarily done in oil pastels and forms can be acquired by either calling Sakura at 1-800-776-6257x177 or by e-mailing Contest is open to residents of the U.S., District of Columbia and Canada (except Quebec).Online entry forms will be available at Entry forms will also be available at Michaels Arts & Crafts Stores and other retail sponsors starting in September 2005. Entrants may begin submitting artwork August 1, 2005. Deadline for entries must be postmarked by December 16, 2005.

Sakura's judging panel of professional artists and art educators selects three top finalists in three grade categories: kindergarten through second grade, third through fifth, and sixth through eighth. In addition, up to 25 honorable mentions are selected in each grade category.

First through third place winning students each receive:

  • US Savings Bond
  • A t-shirt imprinted with their winning artwork
  • A supply of Sakura products
  • Gift certificates from participating sponsors.

Teachers of top-three finalist students also receive a t-shirt with their students' artwork along with Sakura products and gift certificates from sponsors.

Students receiving honorable mention also receive:

·* A t-shirt imprinted with their winning artwork

  • A certificate of participation and Sakura art


Sponsors for the 2006 contest include the following retail art material and school suppliers:

  • Dick Blick® Art Materials
  • H.R. Meininger Company
  • McCallister's Art Supplies
  • Michael's Arts and Crafts Store®
  • Nasco
  • Sax Arts & Crafts
  • Triarco Arts and Crafts, Inc.™
  • ArtWare by You (which provides the shirts

imprinted with the winning artwork)

  • C-Thru® Ruler
  • General Pencil Company
  • Silver Brush Ltd.®
  • Star Products
  • American Artist magazine
  • Arts & Activities magazine
  • School Arts magazine
  • Teaching PreK-8 magazine
  • The Artist's Magazine
  • Papaink, a non-profit organization dedicated to

children's art, also sponsors the artwork and

places every piece of entered student art on

their web site at

2005 contest winning artwork can also be seen on Sakura's own Wonderful Colorful World online art gallery on Sakura of America's website.

Cray-Pas oil pastels were invented in 1925 in Japan to bring a professional-quality art material to children at an affordable price. Cray-pas is available in three different levels from student to professional artist-quality: Junior Artist®, Expressionist®, and Specialist®.

Headquartered in Hayward, CA, Sakura of America is the U.S. subsidiary of privately held, Sakura Color Products Corp. of Osaka, Japan. Besides Cray-Pas, Sakura manufactures popular Gelly Roll® gel pens as well as many other high-quality writing instruments, markers, and art materials.

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John Crook
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