Local students awarded for art

Placer and Colfax High School students receive scholarship from Colfax VFW
By: Julie Miller, Design and Content Manager
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COLFAX — Two Placer County high school students’ artwork has been awarded by Colfax VFW.

This year’s winners are Placer High junior Alisa Olender and Colfax High senior Zoe Smith.

Each student will receive $100 and advance to the state level for judging where awards there amount to as much as $10,000.

The annual VFW Auxiliary Young American Creative Patriotic Art contest has the same theme each year: patriotism.

“It opens up doors for kids,” said Beth Murphy, the youth chairman for Colfax VFW Auxiliary No. 2003.

Murphy helped to get the word out about the contest to students, which spurred Olender to enter.

“She wasn’t even aware of it (the contest),” Murphy said.

Olender’s painting depicts her grandmother’s hands holding a photo of her great grandfather.

“(The project) helps me to contemplate the sacrifices made by thousands of soldiers since the founding of our nation,” she wrote in an essay.

Smith’s winning art piece focused on farming in America.

“Agriculture is one of the largest industries in the United States,” she said. “Through daily toil in the fields and endless manual labor, the reward of the farmers’ efforts are distributed throughout the entire country.

Similar to farmers, soldiers exert their energy on the battlefield to ensure that every American can possess freedom.”

Smith then quoted Thomas Paine and said, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”

For more information on the contest, visit