Winners named in Tobacco and Addiction Art Contest

Photos courtesy of Ted McClenning/Bears Den Photography

Community Service Inc. and the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton recently announced the winners of the Tobacco and Addiction Art Contest.

Anna Pharr, daughter of Mack and Melinda Pharr of Conway, won first place for her art piece titled “Grim Agony” and received a $250 book scholarship from the UACCM Bookstore.  

Cierra Oade, daughter of Blake and Lou Ann Oade of Vilonia, won second place for her acrylic painting titled “Smoker’s Mouth” and also third place for “Smoke Your Heart Out,” another acrylic painting. She received $100 and $50 UACCM book scholarships. 

The Tobacco Addiction and Art Project was a collaborative effort between Community Service and UACCM, as an initiative of an Arkansas Department of Health Academic Tobacco Prevention Grant for Conway County. The awards were funded by the grant.

Melinda Neeley, academic tobacco prevention coordinator for Conway County who works for Community Service, spearheaded the project.  

Cody Davis, UACCM disabilities counselor, helped direct and promote the contest on campus. Contest judges were Shawnna Bowles, executive director of the Rialto Community Arts Center in Morrilton, and Coe Wilson, a local artist. Both are members of the Conway County Arts Council. Each year, almost 500,000 deaths occur in the U.S. as a result of smoking. In Arkansas alone, smoking claims more than 5,100 lives annually.

The purpose of the exhibit was to contribute to the concept that creativity and artistic expression can play a significant role both in recovery and in raising awareness of the personal and community tolls caused by tobacco abuse and addiction.