Unique choice of media helps bag top prize in Colors of Christmas contest

Bow Valley fifth-grader is Colors of Christmas grand prize winner

A unique use of glitter to create an image of the Christmas story was enough to win Kiersten Hans the grand prize in this year’s Catholic Voice Colors of Christmas art contest.

The 11-year-old is a member of Holy Family Parish in Bow Valley and a fifth-grader at Wynot Public School.

As the overall contest winner, she wins this year’s top prize – an electronic piano/keyboard and accessory pack, courtesy of Keyboard Castle in Omaha – as well as receiving gift cards for winning first place in her grade category.

The 11th annual contest, open to students in Catholic schools and parish religious education programs and homeschooled students in the archdiocese, received more than 1,000 entries in three categories – grades K-1, 2-3 and 4-6. 

Although many students incorporate glitter into their pictures, Kiersten’s artwork was unique in its use of glitter to create the entire image.

“I wanted to (use glitter) because Jesus’ birth brought light into the world, so I wanted it to be nice and bright,” she said.

Over the course of a couple weeks, Kiersten spread glue on her paper and sprinkled glitter over each element, carefully scraping with toothpicks to maintain clear distinction between each element and creating details such as the Holy Family, angels and halos. A coating was applied to the finished picture to keep the glitter in place.

In her third year entering the contest, Kiersten said she enjoys taking part as a way to celebrate Jesus’ birth.

The contest was judged by art teachers from archdiocesan Catholic schools: Michael Pflaum from St. Vincent de Paul and Jonnie Robinson from Mary Our Queen, both in Omaha, and Mary Jo Kampschnieder from Howells Community Catholic in Howells.

They selected first, second and third place winners as well as honorable mentions in each category. They are shown below.

All three judges were impressed with the effort and creativity that went into the artwork. 

“There’s a lot of talent, and a lot of different styles and techniques,” Pflaum said.

Commenting on the overall winning piece, he said: “It’s a tough medium to pull off and still see what it is.”

Kampschnieder said she was impressed with the use of perspective in some of the artwork. “One of the elements of art is the perspective of things in the background, things in the foreground, and their sizes.”

“I loved seeing the different materials used,” Robinson said, … pipe cleaners and popsicle sticks –  “things that you don’t expect.”

First, second and third place winners in each grade category will receive gift cards from participating sponsors The Cosgrave Company and Gloria Deo Catholic Books and Gifts, both in Omaha, and Divine Truth Christian Store in La Vista. Catholic Mutual Group was the contest underwriter.


K – 1st Grade

REMY RULEAUX  1st Place, Kindergarten, St. Mary Parish and School, Bellevue


CLAIRE KROENKE 2nd place, Kindergarten, St. Vincent de Paul Parish and School, Omaha


MADDIE MUIR 3rd place, Kindergarten, St. Mary Parish and School, Wayne


LAUREN COLE Honorable Mention, Grade 1, St. Vincent de Paul Parish and School, Omaha


MADDIX PAPROCKI Honorable Mention, Grade 1, St. John Neumann School, Ss. Cyril and Methodius Parish, Clarkson

2nd – 3rd Grade

CECILIA AGNES SPARGO 1st place, Grade 3, Christendom Academy, Immaculate Conception Parish, Omaha


BRYNN COLE 2nd place, Grade 3, St. Vincent de Paul Parish and School, Omaha


ALLY SCHAAF 3rd place, Grade 3, St. Joseph Parish and School, Atkinson


HADLEY WEMHOFF Honorable Mention, Grade 3, North Bend Central School, St. Charles Borromeo Parish, North Bend


MONICA LINDER Honorable Mention, Grade 3, St. Bernadette Parish and School, Bellevue


4th – 6th Grade

KIERSTEN HANS 1st place and OVERALL WINNER, Grade 5, Wynot Public Schools, Holy Family Parish, Bow Valley


GARYN RAMAEKERS 2nd place, Grade 5, St. Isidore Parish and School, Columbus


MADI KRAUS 3rd place, Grade 6, Bell Elementary School, St. Joseph Parish, Springfield


DANIEL RYAN Honorable Mention, Grade 4, St. Joan of Arc Parish and School, Omaha


SAMANTHA MAYER Honorable Mention, Grade 6, St. Vincent de Paul Parish and School, Omaha

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