2017 Winners and Special Distinctions

First place
In an unusual result for the 2017 contest, both first prizes went to two amazing sculptures:

Grace Kenney

MV Regional High School


The Attire was created out of found materials on Martha’s Vineyard. The inspiration for the project was to reuse and find a new purpose for the trash so it was not thrown away. For example, the twine is from Menemsha lobster fishermen. All things show a part of the island. Also many colors used on the Attire are natural to the island.

David Sweitzer

MV Regional High School


This started when my father discovered then gave me a broken 3D origami pot that someone wanted to throw away. In my earlier years of high school I did a lot of origami and I started learning the folds for this work from the pieces of the broken pot. This creature is made of paper and the way it is put together references a honeycomb-like pattern and other patterns found in nature and on our island.

Special Distinctions

In addition, six photographs took honors as Special Distinctions:

Pandora Bassett

9th grade, MV Regional High School

Car story
There are so many trails behind our houses on this island. This photo shows the problem we have with waste. While exploring the paths behind my community I discovered a place where people dumped things like cars, bikes, and barrels. Discovering places like this can help us move forward in conserving the land and making sure our island stays clean.

Cameron Moore

9th gradeMV Regional High School

Sand Meets Water

This is the ocean on a beach just left of the Edgartown Lighthouse. I had never seen the water and the sand under it so balanced before. There was no current, and the water was just flat all the way across. It was a very cool discovery, and very interesting. 
Kayla Oliver

11th gradeMV Regional High School

Between the Lines

This is a photo of a road in Katama near the Farm Institute. I take trips to Katama frequently, but one time when I was driving I saw a driveway I have never noticed before. I quickly pulled off, parked the car and grabbed my camera to adventure down the road on foot. There were three deer staring at me intently, and when they ran away this foggy entrance caught my eye. It looked very melancholy, as if it was taken out of a movie or story, and I was oddly attracted to it.

Lexus Pate

12th gradeMV Regional High School


She has her wagon, and her flower crown, and she wanted to find something new. She was on a mission to find animals and new sticks, but instead she found moss. To her, that was something very new because she never paid attention to it before. She was amazed at how soft it was. She wanted to take it home and save it but didn’t want to dig it up. Now all she wants to do is go on more “adventures”.

Olivia Schroeder

9th gradeMV Regional High School

Sightseeing in Nature

I took this picture while on a walk in a meadow in the middle of my in my neighborhood. Normally, I walk my dog here, but when I went with the purpose of taking pictures for a theme of “discovery”, I began to see things differently. I didn’t realize how many trees there were in the meadow and I didn’t see the pure beauty of nature before. I’d never walked there to actually look at the nature. It was eye-opening.

Emma Searle

10th grade, MV Regional High School


I took small pieces of greenery and rocks to make a mini arrangement to scan. I loved how the green contrasted against the black background and the rocks grounded the photo.

"VCS Office Pick"

Finally, the VCS staff wants to recognize one additional photo not selected by our judges for its uniquely strong potential as a future newsletter cover. Plus, we really like it! 

Ava Stearns

MV Regional High School

The Deep End
Our island is full of unsought adventures and discoveries yet to be made. Taken in a remote oasis at the tip of West Tisbury, this photo captures the essence of a moment. A peaceful bridge overlooking the calm waters, that at the time were personally foreign, caught my attention. The unearthing of this unfamiliar scene brought me to the realization that although Martha’s Vineyard is renowned for its beauty, many people only see the surface, or coastal, beauty of our island. We still have many paths that have yet to be ventured upon, but if we journey into new territory and “get off the beaten path” we will find new exploits and uncover new secrets about the beauty of our native land.