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Senior Maggie Wincek of Mill Creek High School Wins $1,000 in International Art Competition

On Tuesday, April 12th during a special presentation, Maggie Wincek of Mill Creek High School in Hoschton, Georgia, was named the winner of the Senior Division of The ArtEffect Project - an international competition for students in grades 6-12 hosted by the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes (LMC), located in Fort Scott, Kansas.

Maggie Wincek with her parents and teachers.

This year marks LMC’s second annual art competition, and drew 430 student entries from across the U.S. and abroad. In addition to LMC’s executive leadership, the art competition’s judging panel consisted of experts in the fields of art history, design, and museum education, including representatives from the Getty Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and the Art Center College of Design.

Maggie Wincek was awarded the $1,000 senior division prize for her project “Protector of the Dunes.” Wincek’s Acrylic on canvas 20H x 16W painting honors Dorothy Buell, a nature activist whose lifelong commitment to preserving the Indiana Dunes fought off decades of industrial encroachment, and helped turn the shoreline into the Indiana Dune National Lakeshore, a national park, in 1966.

Protector of the DunesIn Maggie’s essay describing her artwork, she states: “In this artwork I wanted to create a piece that symbolized Dorothy Buell’s influence and persistence in protecting the Indiana dunes. To accomplish this, the subject matter pictured is seen inside the shape of an hourglass. I wanted to incorporate the element of time due to the fact that time was running out for the beloved Indiana dunes as industrialization threatened to take over the land. The two hands seen at the top of the artwork are meant to represent Dorothy Buell’s hands as she protected and figuratively “held up” the Indiana dunes. Between her hands, a sign with the phrase “Save the Dunes” is set in the sand. I placed this imagery at the top of the hourglass to convey Buell’s efforts in saving the dunes. The sand seen falling through Buell’s hands is meant to resemble sand in an hourglass and also represent the success that her efforts had as she ultimately saved the dunes, which are pictured at the bottom of the piece. I included the dunes as a major part of the painting to show how the Indiana dunes were seen through Dorothy Buell’s eyes, as a beautiful and serene landscape.”

The Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes works to transform classrooms and communities through student driven projects that discover unsung  heroes from history and teach the power of one to create positive change. In 2015, the ArtEffect Project was started to give students an opportunity to generate unique, creative interpretations that honor the legacies of unsung heroes in an array of artistic mediums. The project allows students to apply the lessons of history to their lives today and draw connections from the universal values represented by unsung heroes, coming to understand the impact of their own actions on others.
The competition has prizes totaling $13,500 including a grand prize of $7500 and is open to US and international students in grades 6-12.  Eligible students were invited to submit high quality art projects interpreting an unsung hero’s character and actions as well as submit a  500-1,000 word artist statement to accompany their artwork that  articulates the vision behind their creative interpretation and their personal connection to the subject matter. Winning art projects will be displayed physically at LMC’s Hall of Unsung Heroes and virtually on Wincek
LMC: Sonia Lowman, Director of Communications, (310) 570-4744, 
Mill Creek High School: Mike Lasseter, Art Teacher, Mill Creek High School,
Established in 2007, the Lowell Milken Center (LMC) for Unsung Heroes works to transform classrooms and communities through student-driven projects that discover Unsung Heroes from history and teach the power of one to create positive change. To date, LMC has reached over 1,300,000 students and 8,500 schools in all 50 states, with growing global reach. Learn more about LMC and its Unsung Heroes Art Competition at

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