October 23, 2021

Tully teen wins art contest

National recognition

Katie Keyser/contributing photographer

Sarah Macie, 14, of Tully, at the Tully ArtWorks Wednesday. Macie won a nationwide YMCA art contest with her mixedmedia drawing of Peter Rabbit.

Sarah Macie puts art into her life as a matter of course.

“I draw every day. I bring my sketch book everywhere,” said the 14-year-old, a home-schooled student from Tully.

It has paid off. The self-taught artist won a national art contest in the YMCA of the USA’s digital ad campaign: “Child Hunger is No Fairytale,” which runs through August.

Children under 17 were invited to submit artwork to depict hunger scenes from classic fairytales.

“I just thought it would be a cool idea to do a Peter Rabbit reaching for something on the shelf,” Macie said. The rabbit is on tippy toe and the shelf has a woods-like feel. He also looks like he could use some food.

Macie was one of five winners from the United States chosen from more than 1,300 entries. Judges included chef Marcus Samuelsson and cookbook author Leanne Brown, according to a YMCA news release.

The campaign points to the problem of child hunger and how the Y offers a summer food program in over 1,000 communities, said Emily J. Waldren, public relations manager at the YMCA of the USA in Chicago.

The five winners will be featured in an online gallery, and each will receive a $500 Walmart gift card plus a $500 Walmart donation to their local YMCA, the release states.

Macie used watercolor, markers and a Sharpie to make her piece.

“I was actually kind of proud of it. I actually accomplished something,” she said Wednesday at the ArtWorks Studio and Gallery in Tully.

Macie’s work will be featured at the Elm Street gallery in July and she will speak at a meet the artist forum 7 p.m. Friday. People are asked to bring a food donation for food pantries in Cortland and Tully.

“This is a girl who has had no training,” said Marianne Ralbovsky, president of the Tully Arts Council. “No modeling … She adapts super quickly to this technique she’s never used before.”

When Ralbovsky found out about her win, she invited Macie to a meet the artist night in June to show off her picture. She counseled the young girl to not be shy.

“She didn’t need help from me,” Ralbovsky said. “She was beautiful.”

“This is all Sarah,” said Kelly Macie of Tully, Sarah Macie’s mother. “This is Sarah’s passion. This is what she does for herself.”

Sarah Macie said she started drawing in the fifth grade. She looks up to her big sister, Katie, who also is an artist.

She leans toward cartoons and illustrations in style and has been dabbling in realistic works.

“I’m actually working on this fish drawing,” she said, pointing to an underwater scape. “Hands are my favorite thing to draw.”

She does watch sketchbook videos on YouTube for guidance.

Kelly Macie said her daughter is very humble: “She would rather see other people win.”

Not mom: “This is her first win and it’s a national win!”