Celebrating creativity: Meet the 2024 District 214, Daily Herald Community Art & Writing Contest winners

Art, poetry and fiction writing aren't talents that are supposed to fade away after high school. But adult life often intrudes.

The annual Arts Unlimited District 214/Daily Herald Community Arts and Writing Contest primarily celebrates adults in our community who, despite the pressures of adulthood, have continued to pursue their passion for the arts. Teens are allowed to enter, too.

We are proud to present the 2024 winners. All of their work will be published in the Daily Herald over the next week. The first place winners appear Wednesday, April 3.

Here is the complete list of winners:

Visual Art

Judged by Liz Schrenk, former District 214 art teacher, photographer, designer, owner of Something Blue Photography and 2024 Arts Unlimited Friend of the Arts recipient

First place: Emma Taucher, Elk Grove Village, “Under the Grave”

Second place: Sydney Cabitac, Rolling Meadows, "Looking Back at You"

Third place: Anna Raef, Arlington Heights, "Untitled"


Judged by Bill Leece, retired English and journalism teacher, Arts Unlimited Friend of the Arts recipient

First place: Dennis F. Depcik, Buffalo Grove, "Sweet and Sour"

Second place: Sheila M. Barrett, Elk Grove Village, “Two Women”

Third place: Josephine Mallek, Prospect Heights, "The Selection"


Judged by Mary Larson, retired District 214 English teacher and 2023 Friend of the Arts recipient

First place: Julia Pedersen, Arlington Heights, “What I Think About the Garden Bed"

Second place: Jessica Siobhan Frank, Arlington Heights, "Aurora Violet"

Third place: Harry Trumfio, Arlington Heights, "Soothing Solitude"

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