Viera High’s Brumbaugh wins national art competition


Viera High senior Maura Brumbaugh poses with the computer poster she designed. The poster, which depicts the theme "Polar Bears Walking on Thin Ice," won the National Ocean Pals Computer Graphic Poster Competition.

Viera Voice Courtesy of Susan West


Viera High senior Maura Brumbaugh always has loved taking art classes, knowing she can use colored pencils and watercolors to place her thoughts and emotions down on paper without using words.

Turns out she’s pretty good at creating posters on a computer, too.

Brumbaugh finished first in the National Ocean Pals Computer Graphic Poster Competition, which came with the theme “Polar Bears Walking on Thin Ice.”

“I was quite surprised when I received the letter telling me I won!” Brumbaugh wrote in an email. “I had nearly forgotten about the project by then and thought it stood no chance in the competition.

“I’m sure many experienced students submitted outstanding artwork that caused the judges to be stumped for a while as to whose poster to choose.”

Brumbaugh, who likes to draw birds, said she had only created a poster on a computer one other time. However, as a student in Susan West’s 2-D studio art class, she enjoys the fact she is given the opportunity to experiment with new art forms.

It took her three days to complete the project, working on it during class time.

“I used Microsoft Word art tools to create my poster, and by some of the choices I made in my piece, I highlighted the danger that polar bears are in today,” Brumbaugh wrote. “My design features a polar bear who looks forlorn as he drifts away under the stars on an iceberg; I wanted to make sure the polar bear closely resembled a real one, so I studied photos before starting.

“I wanted the composition to create emotion in the viewer even if he/she only glances quickly at the poster, so I emphasized the vast, lonely sky and the icebergs in the distance that have evidently broken off from a landmass due to global warming.

“I chose to make the scene a nighttime one because it has the potential to instill more pity for the bear from the viewer than a daytime one would.”

Though she plans to study science in college, Brumbaugh said creating art will always be one of her favorite hobbies.