Show Us What the River Means to You!
Every spring we host our Voices of the River: Art & Poetry Contest. We ask kids to use the river as a source of inspiration to showcase their creativity. Each year we are so amazed by the talent of these young artists, poets, and performers. Submissions can include 2D and 3D works in various mediums, poems and creative writings, and video compositions of songs, dances, or skits. Winners are selected by a council of judges made up of local artists, writers, and community leaders. Many generous businesses also donate prizes for winners from each age group and category.
Congratulations to our 2021 Winners!
We are very excited to be able to announce the winners of this years Voices of the River: Art & Poetry Contest. We had so many wonderful submissions from some very talented young artists, writers, and nature enthusiasts! It’s really beautiful to see how the river has impacted all these kids, especially after this difficult past year. We hope that all participants will continue to hone their crafts and draw inspiration from nature and the world around them.
Check out all of this years submissions
Meet the 2021 Judges
2D & 3D Art Judges
Bridget moved to Asheville in 2017 where she joined 310 ART Gallery and School in the River Arts District as a resident artists and lead instructor. Along with being an artist and art instructor, Bridget is also the author of the award winning book The Creative Conversation: Art Making as Playful Prayer. She has shown her work across the united states and uses a variety of mediums included reclaimed materials, nature print, photography and encaustic – which is a medium that combines filtered beeswax, resin and pigment.
Karen has lived in Asheville for over 25 years and has seen the land along the river become cleaner and more beautiful over time. She loves to walk on the river trails or canoe close to shore looking for wildlife. Karen participated in the River Sculpture Festivals that took place around 2006 in Amboy Park. She loves to create sculpture whenever possible and continues to walk along the river for inspiration
Video Composition Judges
Garrett combines his two passions in media and the outdoors as a documentary filmmaker, photographer and an environmentalist. He is the owner of production company VentureLife Films. Two of his documentaries, “Unbonded” and “Beyond Travel” have been screened around the world and won multiple international awards. His experience directing, producing, shooting, and editing productions allows him to tell impactful stories that are engaging and personal.
One of Natalie’s favorite things to do is find creative ways for people to connect to the things they love. She formerly was in AmeriCorps at RiverLink as the Education Coordinator and one of her favorite parts was seeing some of our first video submissions come through and the numerous ways people could show their love of our watershed. Natalie’s personal way that the river has helped get her through isolation, is providing safe (and flat!) greenways along the river to run on. Every time she runs through the river parks along the French Broad River she thinks about the important work that RiverLink is doing to continue providing these safe spaces to recreate and connect to the river!
Poetry and Writing Judges
Glenis Redmond is nationally renowned award-winning poet and teaching artist. In 2020 she became a recipient of South Carolina’s highest award, The Governor’s Award for the Arts. Glenis is a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist and a Cave Canem poet and has been the mentor poet for the National Student Poets Program since 2014. Glenis writes about the strength of her Afro-Carolinian roots, while exploring their weighted and palpable histories in South Carolina and North Carolina. Her latest book, The Listening Skin will be published by Four Way Books in 2022.
As an employee of RiverLink, Justin has been working on the Voices of the River contest for the past 6 years. During that time he’s seen so many fantastic entries the reflect the importance of the river. “I’ve always loved reading the poems that kids submit, and hearing how meaningful the river is to them.” says Justin. While he doesn’t have any formal writing experience, Justin has always been a fan of creative writing and has been know to dabble in poetry.