LSCO Honors Creative Students

May 1, 2015

Cypress Branches Winners

Kaylin Mitchem of Vidor won first place in the two-dimensional art category in the Cypress Branches Literary/Artistic Journal contest at Lamar State College Orange. Her watercolor, “Splash of Color”, which appears on the cover of the journal, won the grand prize of $300.

Winners received their prizes at an awards ceremony April 30 in the Ron E. Lewis Library on the LSC-O campus.

Other two-dimensional art winners were Lillian Organ of Hampshire, second place, “Robin Williams”; Rebecca Zuniga of Mauriceville, third place, “Horse”; and Jacob Bland of Bridge City, honorable mention, “Ragu Man.” 

For three-dimensional art, Jamie Nunez of Lake Charles, La. took first place for There’s No Place Like Home”; Erik Tutt of Orange, second place, “Tranquility”; Johnathon Brown, third place, “Mardi Gras”; and Morgan Zerko of Orange, honorable mention, “Pinkie.”     

Winners for photography were Kenndall Stone of Silsbee, first place, “Colored Pencils”; Luke Tantun of Silsbee, second place, “Slanted Sunset”; Danielle Battise of Orange, third place, “Through a Little Girl’s Eyes”; and Erik Tutt of Orange, honorable mention, “Life by the Sea”.

Prose winners were Micaela Moreno of Vidor, first place, “Folklorico”; Jennifer Corrao of Orange, second place, “Bitter, Party of Two”; Johnathon Brown of Orange, third place, “Why Do It Today”; and Dana Copeland of Nederland, honorable mention, “Burning Passion”.

In the poetry category, winners were Haley Woods of Orange, who recited her first-place poem “Old Willow Tree” during the ceremony.  Jade Scott of Silsbee placed second with “Sacrifice of a Soldier”; Mariah Waters of Silsbee, third place, “Little Peggy Sue” and Rochelle Peters of Jennings, La., took honorable mention, “Why Does My Heart Cry”.

Faculty honored for their submissions to the journal were Dr. Matt McClure for his cartoon strip “Cypress Man X” and Cathie Phillips, for her art “Chinook Quilt”.

A record number of contributions came from the community this year from Jan Childress and Jeanette Boehme, poetry; Shirley Marshall, Raida Neswick, Phyllis Henderson, Nancy Landry and Judy Taylor, art; Krystal Weiss, photography; and Cookie Phillips, art and prose.

Judges were Dr. Sarah Boehme, Dr. Matt McClure, Kathryn Williams, and Andrew Preslar.

Dr. Michael Shahan, LSC-O president, emceed the event and presented certificates; and Mike Yeater, vice president for student services and auxiliary enterprises, presented prizes.
The Cypress Branches Literary/Artistic Journal showcases works of the winners and of faculty/staff/community contributors.  Cindy Wyles, director of public information and marketing, provided technical support and printed the journal on campus; Mary McCoy, director of library services, arranged a display of winning entries at the ceremony and Stephanie Jones, administrative assistant III, helped organize the ceremony. 

Prizes were first place, $225; second place, $100; and third place, $50 in each category except two-dimensional art, which received $200 as grand prize. Fifty-one students entered the annual contest, some in multiple categories.

Cypress Branches competition is open to any student enrolled in at least one LSC-O class. Non-competitive artistic and literary contributions also are accepted from members of the community, as well as LSC-O faculty and staff. For information on next year’s contest, contact Dr. Arlene Turkel, professor of English and Cypress Branches coordinator, at

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