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Student Finalists Named in Red River’s Annual Nashville Beautiful Art Contest


Third and fourth graders’ artwork helps promote the importance of reducing their carbon footprint

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Four Metro Nashville Public School art students from Ruby Major Elementary, Una Elementary, Dan Mills Elementary and Shayne Elementary have been named grand-prize winners of this year’s Nashville Beautiful Art Contest, sponsored by Red River Service Corporation, Metro Public Works, Metro Beautification & Environment Commission, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Metropolitan Arts Commission and Nashville Arts Coalition. More than 70 entries from 35 elementary schools were submitted for consideration.

Selected by a panel of Metro Council and Nashville Arts Coalition members, this year’s grand prize winning art produced a first in the contest’s seven-year history: a tie for first place. The co-grand prize winners are third graders Kelly Castlen of Ruby Major Elementary and Marvin Guardado of Una Elementary. Castlen and Guardado’s art will be featured in the Nashville Christmas Parade on Friday, Dec. 7 followed by a public viewing and ceremony on Sat., December 8.

Edie McClure, 4th grader at Dan Mills Elementary, is the third-place winner and Emilia Toth, 4th grader at Shayne Elementary received this year’s Red River Award of Distinction. In honor of the winning students’ entries, the two grand prize winners’ school art departments will receive $1,500, while the third place and Red River Award of Distinction winners will receive $500 and $250 respectively in prize money from Red River Service Corporation.

“We have wondered if a tie would ever occur; certainly the possibility existed and now it has,” said Red River Service Corporation CEO, James Smith. “Rather than design some sort of tie breaker or flip a coin, Red River opted to give top prize money to both schools. We never forget that this art contest is for the children, the schools and for the Nashville community. Looking at the effort and quality of the artwork and remembering the mission of the art contest itself, giving both schools the grand prize of $1,500 is the only solution that makes sense.”

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean will present checks to those winning schools’ art departments during a public viewing of the artwork on Titans Way near LP Field on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 10 a.m. The public is invited to join the students, teachers and parents at the celebration event. Parking will be available in Lot R.

All 70 qualifying contest submissions will be displayed on household waste collection trucks for the next six months as part of a citywide campaign to promote this year’s contest theme of reducing your carbon footprint. The collection trucks will be seen by thousands of Nashvillians each day as they service their routes.

The art contest, now in its seventh year, is open to all Metro Nashville Public School third and fourth graders. Throughout the history of the contest, more than 500 entries have been received from 91 percent of MNPS elementary schools.

About Red River

Red River Service Corporation is a waste management company headquartered in Austin, Texas, and is the largest local collector of residential waste serving more than 92,000 Nashville homes. Red River also conducts widespread commercial waste collection and recycling operations.