Farmland: When it's gone, it's gone

April 01, 2008|By JULIE E. GREENE

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Carolyn Baker says her father was the first Franklin County farmer to enter his farmland into farmland preservation, receiving a sum of money in exchange for guaranteeing his land will never be developed.

As an art teacher at Greencastle-Antrim High School, Baker teaches her students how art can be used to express an opinion and to educate.

She's combined her interests into the Farmland Preservation Art Contest, whose entries will be shown at Norlo Park in Chambersburg on Monday, March 31, through Thursday, April 10. Baker plans to make this an annual event.

Approximately 100 pieces of art were submitted for the contest, mostly from students in the county.

"I wanted to educate the students," Baker says. "They need to be involved in what's happening in their community. This is their community for the future."


The exhibit will also feature a photo of every county farm protected by farmland preservation, Baker says.

Exhibit hours are 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. A reception will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, April 4. Admission is free.

Ribbons and trophies will be awarded for first place in each division - elementary school-age, middle school-age, high school-age and adult. The elementary school winner's art will be made into a place mat that will be distributed to Franklin County restaurants. The grand-prize winner will receive $250.

Photos by Joe Crocetta


Katy Mitchell, a senior at James Buchanan High School in Mercersburg, Pa., created this common farm scene - inspired by a variety of farm images - on a piece of scrap wood. It's "a view that I want to see for the rest of my life and have my kids see," says Mitchell, 18, of Fort Loudon, Pa.

"I was trying to show the limited farmland we have left and what's being used of the land that's around it," says Courtney Barnett, 15, of Hagerstown. Courtney, a ninth-grader at Greencastle-Antrim High School, used oil-based colored pencils to create this scene to remind people of the developments popping up everywhere.

This is a close-up of a larger piece done by Greencastle-Antrim senior Jessica Benchoff, 17, of Greencastle, Pa. The pencil-and-colored-pencil drawing shows acid rain falling and asks "Future Farmlands of America?" If development stays at its current rate, there might be no land to grow food, Jessica says.

This acrylic on canvas shows the barn James Buchanan High School senior Jon Souders, 18, of Montgomery Township, Pa., sees on his family's farm from his front door. "It was a dairy farm, but my dad sold all the cows" and now grows hay, Souders says. With the painting, Souders is trying to show that even though things aren't the same, the barn/farm remains.

Stephanie Ozimok, 16, of Greencastle, Pa., used oil-based colored pencils to bring these farm and corporate buildings to life. Stephanie is a sophomore at Greencastle-Antrim. "I wanted to show how the cities and housing developments are taking over the farmland," she says.

Anne Finucane, exhibit coordinator for the Council for the Arts in Chambersburg, Pa., created this linocut, "I Came to See Cows." "It's an abstracted view from the front of my house, which used to have cows in it," says Finucane, 55, of Guilford Township, Pa. The view still features farmland, a view she hopes will remain. The linocut is "how I feel about suburbia creeping into farmland."

Paige Penrod, 17, of Greencastle, Pa., used computer graphics and colored pencil to create her work, which features farm scenes as the spots on a Holstein. Paige, a senior at Greencastle-Antrim High School, says she wanted to capture the beauty of farmland and animals in a different way than just having a cow in a field.

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