An eye-catching collection of colors and a still-life painting of a festive menorah were enough to secure top honors in the 2017 AJT Chanukah art contest for 10-year-old Marion Kogon of Sandy Springs.
The Epstein School fourth-grader said she was inspired to use “all the colors” in her watercolor artwork and dedicated the win to her art teacher at Epstein, Pamela Cohen, whose menorah she used as inspiration.
“I really wanted to do something colorful with contrast,” she said. “The counter kind of blends it all together. I decided if I did a blue-and-yellow menorah with a red-and-yellow background, it would make it really pop. Most people take one set of colors, and I think it’s great to use all of them.”
Impressed by the rainbow of colors, a panel of AJT judges picked Marion’s painting out of 50 contest entries.
Marion, who is the oldest of four children of Sara and Ross Kogon, said her favorite part of Chanukah is celebrating with her whole family, and sufganiyot are her favorite food for the festival. This year, she said, she hopes to get a Polaroid camera for Chanukah because they come in lots of colors and “you can do a lot with them.”
Marion was excited to learn that her painting earned her a $50 gift card to Binders Art Supplies in Buckhead. She said she plans to get some nice paintbrushes and art clay for her home studio.
When she’s not creating art, Marion enjoys being outside and likes playing softball and basketball.
“I’m really excited that I won,” she said. “It’s been hard not to tell anyone.”
Besides her interest in art, Marion keeps a list of five lofty life goals on a whiteboard in her room at home. First on the list is to expand women’s rights around the world. Second, she would like to create a professional women’s softball league (although one may already exist). Third, she would like to create an app to make parking easier in Atlanta. Fourth, she wants to make it to the NBA (not the WNBA). Finally, she would like to make people believe in unicorns.
Some of the items on her list may be easier than others to complete, but we wouldn’t bet against her.
Marion’s parents are proud of their bright and creative daughter. Her mom said, “She’s actually the one raising me.”
Winners by Age Group
In addition to overall winner Marion Kogon, the AJT is recognizing three young artists for the best submissions in their age groups: 6 and under, Dana Miller; 7 to 10, Julia Promoff; and 11 to 13, Shayna Robins. The judging was extremely close, as it is every year.
See the age group runners-up below, but we just as easily could have recognized a dozen other works of art.
Ages 6 and Under
Dana Miller, 6
Parents Rachel and Ben Miller
Sarah Smith Elementary School
Ages 7 to 10
Julia Promoff, 9
Parents Gabbi and Michael Promoff
Brookhaven Innovation Academy
Ages 11 to 13
Shayna Robins, 11
Parents Rachel and Jay Robins
Atlanta Jewish Academy