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MOD recently hosted a children and youth winter art contest. We asked children and teens across the Commonwealth to create an original winter scene that incorporates MOD’s mission of ensuring “equal participation in all aspects of life by persons with disabilities.” After receiving some fantastic artwork, we selected one piece to feature as the cover of MOD’s official 2015 Holiday card.

The selection is a collaboration by eighteen children ages three to four from the Commonwealth Children’s Center. The project was facilitated by Barrett Grizzard, an art teacher from the Museum of Fine Arts. The students were inspired by the work of Chuck Close, an American artist with a disability. They learned how Close is able to create large paintings while sitting in his wheelchair by painting  several small, separate squares and then putting them together to make one piece of art.

The children replicated Close’s technique, each creating an individual painted square. Next, each child used paper shapes to create a unique person. All of the pieces were combined to create a single winter landscape depicting people playing in the snow.  The students discussed how each person in the landscape is different.

MOD staff was very impressed that the children were able to use our art contest as an opportunity to explore what it means to live with a disability and to learn about a successful American artist who has a disability.  Here it is:

Colorful children's art scene created of individual painted squares assembled together and overlaid with shape figures.Figures are against and orange-red-yellow sky and blue-gray ground. Scene depicts people playing in the snow.

Selected contest entry by Commonwealth Children’s Center

The piece is also featured in MOD’s Winter 2015-2016 Newsletter.

MOD staff would also like to acknowledge two runners-up.  The first is by Jasmin, age 12. Jasmin states she loves to paint and draw:

Snow scene of houses and trees with snowman and two gray rabbits in the forefront

First runner-up by Jasmin, 12

Our second runner up is McKenzie, age 17 who enjoys ice skating:


drawing of penguins wearing winter hats and earmuffs ice skating on frozen pond with the words Happy Holidays

Second runner-up by McKenzie, 17

Here are a few more of the submissions we received:

colorful marker drawing of decorated tree surrounded by hearts and stars with Iris written at the top


chalk drawing on blue paper of boy on sled


color drawing of ornaments and lights on a tree


marker drawing of hands holding a candy cane on a table with a paintbrush


marker drawing of santa in sleigh over a house with words "i love the holidays, ho ho ho, happy christmas"


chalk drawing Snowy scene of two houses, trees, snowman and pond


colorful drawing of house at night with icicles with Christmas tree and snowman in front of it


drawing of snowy scene with tree and snowman with cotton balls


chalk drawing on blue paper of person shoveling a pile of snow


crayon and marker drawing labelled "elsa," "olaf" and "anna" with ice and starry sky. captions read "do you want to biuld a snowman?" and "merry christmas everyone" signed Ahjanee


chalk drawing on blue paper with cut outs of a boy and girl having a snowball fight and smiling


marker drawing of christmas tree with presents, hearts, stars and two cats


Markers and penicil drawing of Snow scene with one person sledding downhill with word bubble stating "wheeeeeeeeeee, Me!!!" two people at bottom of hill with snowman, standing in front of house. one person's word bubble says "it's cold out," the other states "who wants hot chocolate?"


colorful scene of decorated evergreen trees on snow


colorful marker drawing of one large snowman wearing a top hate surrounded by many smaller snowmen as snow falls from sky


colorful marker drawing of the words "Merry Christmas" with artistic lettering


drawing of a reindeer head surrounded by a green wreath


chalk drawing on blue paper of white rabbit wearing a red hat and a tree in the snow


marker drawing of boy and snowman beside a tree in the snow



marker drawing with the words "Merry Christmas HoHoHo" in red and green lettering with a christmas tree and stocking labelled "Joe"



colorful drawing of a turkey and the words "happy thanksgiving"


Colorful drawing with words "Merry Christmas" a wrapped present, a reindeer and a snowman


Pencil illustration of snowmen playing in the snow, driving a plow, throwing snowballs, with trees on horizon


Congratulations to the eighteen young artists of the selected work and thank you to all who showed interest in our contest. Our MOD holiday card will be available soon. If you would like to request one please email or use our Contact form and please be sure to include your mailing address.  Happy Holidays from MOD staff!

Selected artwork by Commonwealth Children's Center with border of blue, white and purple stars and a green banner which reads "Season's Greetings" text below artwork reads "Massachusetts Office on Disability 2015"

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