Christian Academy fifth-grader wins Yavapai County Fair Book Cover contest

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier<br>
Alysda McHale, 11, a fifth-grade student at the Christian Academy of Prescott, holds her winning colored pencil drawing for the annual Yavapai County Fair Book Cover contest Wednesday afternoon. The annual contest had 238 entries from 9 different schools.

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier<br> Alysda McHale, 11, a fifth-grade student at the Christian Academy of Prescott, holds her winning colored pencil drawing for the annual Yavapai County Fair Book Cover contest Wednesday afternoon. The annual contest had 238 entries from 9 different schools.

Alysda McHale moved to Paulden in November 2010 and enrolled in the Christian Academy of Prescott - just in time to enter the annual Yavapai County Fair Book Cover Contest.

An experienced artist and art contest winner, Alysda based her winning entry on the fair theme of "Rides, Roosters and Roses." It will serve as the cover of the 2011 Yavapai County Fair Premium Book.

Alysda used colored pencils to illustrate a family of chickens enjoying the rides at the county fair.

"Prescott is a family place, and I thought it would be good to show chicks and a rooster riding on a ride and doing different things," Alysda said.

She indicated that she loves to draw and has taken private art lessons since she was 5 years old. Alysda likes to draw animals, plants, vegetables and fruit. "Anything with lots of color," she said.

Her winning entry earned her $50, plus an additional $100 for her school to buy art supplies. The fifth-grade class will decide how to spend the money.

Vanessa Martin, the fair book editor and the cover contest coordinator, said it was the colors in Alysda's entry that appealed to the selection committee.

The cover art contest is open to all students in kindergarten through 12th grade in Yavapai County regardless whether they attend a public, charter or private school, or are homeschooled.

Martin said this is the first year a private school student has won the 10-year-old competition.

Martin received 238 entries from nine schools, although she said it is not necessary for children to be enrolled in a formal school.

While the book cover will feature Alysda's winning entry, the runner-up artwork will be displayed on the back cover or inside the fair book.

Martin said the 2011 fair book will be available at libraries, chambers of commerce and grain stores after July 4.

The 98th Yavapai County Fair opens Sept. 29 and runs through Oct. 2.

Alysda said the county fair concept is new to her, and she was uncertain what to draw. "I prayed about it and came up with this design," she said.

Anyone interested in information about next year's county fair book cover contest can visit www.schoolfinearts@gmail.com.