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Student holding her artwork

VMS Names its Lions Club International Peace Poster Contest Winner

When asked to draw what “world peace” meant to her, seventh-grader Natalia Lopez-Bedoya created a poster covered in flags from different countries. In the middle, she drew a peace sign encircling the Earth with a white dove flying over the top.

For her design, Natalia was recently named Valhalla’s winner of the Lions Club International Peace Poster contest. This year’s theme was “Journey of Peace.” Her work was selected out of 42 Valhalla Middle School students who submitted their posters.

“I was happy and surprised,” she said. “I didn’t think I would win. Drawing is really fun; you can draw everything. You can express yourself the way you want. There are so many things you can do.”

The posters were judged by Valhalla High School art teachers Holly Lovegrove and Ivana Saric, who each selected their favorite two. The final four choices were given to middle school principal Jason Schrammel, who selected the winner.

"The artwork had an understated sense of unity and symbolism that spoke to me," he said. "That, combined with the attention to detail from such a young age, really shows her love for the world."

The Lions Club holds this poster contest every year and attracts submissions from all over the world. “Creating peace posters gives children everywhere the chance to express their visions of peace and inspire the world through art and creativity,” says the Lions Club website.

“Natalia has always been very good at art,” said her teacher Lisa Green. “She has been recognized before for her creativity and improvement. She’s a very strong artist.”

Natalia’s poster will next be judged at the state level later this fall.