2018 theme "My Favorite Thing"

The 2018 2nd Annual Mid Mon Valley Cultural Trust's, (MMVCT) Art Competition theme was inspired by the musical "The Sound of Music" and the signature song "My Favorite Thing". The lyrics to the song are a reference to things Maria loves, such as "whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens". These are the things she selects to fill her mind with when times are bad.  Local Artists and Photographers were asked to share one of their favorite things through their art or photograph along with a paragraph to convey their vision and how it reflected a sense of your favorite thing. This year's competition included a Photography Category as well as Original Art. 

2018 Photography Competition Entries 19 & over Age Category

Lou Farkes-Winner of Judged MMVCT Award


Title: Tuning In

I combine my love of nature with my hobby of photography.  In my garden I offer flowers, water, trees & bushes for the birds & bees and butterflies.  

The two butterflies where collected as eggs, after a thirty day cycle they hatched as full grown monarchs.

My love of nature is helping the monarchs for they are being harmed by the over use of chemical sprays.

Tricia Fretts


Title: My Girls

We were on our annual trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for our family vacation.  The picture shows my three daughters sharing and enjoying a “sister moment” together.

Because of the large age difference, I often worried about their ability to connect and understand each other.  However, to me, this picture proves that age doesn’t matter and that they ARE connected and try their best to understand and support each other…unconditional love.    That is why I chose this picture to represent my “Favorite Things”…My Girls, Family, Vacations, Beaches and Unconditional Love.


Jenn Miller-Honorable Mention


Title: Adventure Awaits

My favorite thing in the whole world is to travel and I am lucky to have a job that affords me the opportunity to go often and to many interesting and beautiful places.  This photo was taken while driving into Death Valley National Park in California in May 2018. I believe that it visualizes the love I have for travel with a smooth welcoming road, leading to unknown adventures.

Emily Dodson-Winner of MarBill Gem Award


Title:  Hello World!

My favorite thing to do outdoors is to photograph nature.  It’s so interesting to capture the world in action, at her best.  This makes me happy to see and even happier to share with others.  This little guy is my personal favorite so far and I hope he brings as big a smile to you as he did to me!  

Kerry Jennion Pigeon-Winner of MMVCT Board of Director Award


Title:  Fluff

 Fluff is my favorite thing.  She is my long haired grey and white cat.  I adopted her from the Humane Society.  

 The first time I met Fluff she appeared very skittish, but much to my surprise she willingly came out of the cage and put both paws on my shoulders.

 When I introduced her to my family she didn’t want anything to do with them.  It took several months to adjust to her new home.

 Once she adjusted, we would see her lying on her back.  For a cat, this position signifies comfort and happiness.   As an amateur photographer, I took photos of her on her back, which is all white and soft as fluff.  Very soon she became my most favorite thing to photograph.

Andrea Parasolick


Title:  Majestic Smoky Mountains

 The Smoky Mountains in western North Carolina are heavenly breathtaking.

 My favorite place to vacation and the grandest sightseeing expedition to undertake. No other place can bring peace and quietness to my soul as these majestic mountains.

 The top of the Blue Ridge Parkway takes you 6,053 ft. high.  After reaching the highest elevation, the first words I said were, “There is a God”.

 I could not stop marveling over the splendid beauty of nature before me. Believe me, it takes your breath away, as you see all the way into Tennessee!

Jody Grove-Winner of NAPA Know How Award


Title:  It’s a New Day

One of my favorite things…

 the promise a sunrise brings!

 No matter how bad today is, there is

 always the hope tomorrow will be better.

 A sunrise is another chance to do all in

 your power to make the world a better

place…or at least your own day better

than the last!

William Rockwell


Title:  “Stray Cat Blues”

Wide-eyed heart breaker-

Singing the stray cat blues

Dumped by a real Bad Cat on a night of rain

Tiny kitten, hit and run, crossing Asphalt highway

Somehow, someway

Sanctuary finally! Under my deck

Frightened-would not appear

Survivor washed ashore, like a ship wreck

Food left at the edge, gone every morning

Surely,she must still be there!

One of my favorite things is poetry and the power of the spoken word. This little stray cat inspired me to write my first poem.  One stormy, rainy night, she crossed the busy highway and hid under my deck.  No bigger than a mouse, she ate the food I left for her and gradually became my good friend, Portia. 


MMVCT entry


Title:  Uniquely Greek

Red beach Santorini: The red beach is one of the most famous and beautiful of the beaches of Santorini. It is located near the village and ancient site of Akrotiri.  You pass this restaurant and it's unusual seating on the way. 


Helen Peresolak


Title: Conquered Fear of Water in a Kayak!.


An unforgettable experience! All the fun I missed in my teens. To enjoy the rivers of the city I love, to see Pittsburgh from another angle and to take a photo on a kayak was unbelievable. 

I recently returned from a cruise, zip lined on a mountain in Haiti, The North Star and I fly in a cylinder simulated to skydiving.

My brother John and I are planning to sky dive to celebrate our birthdays in late June when I turn 86! Just saying, it’s catching up time!!!!

2018 Photography Competition Entries -18 & Under Category

Lauren Rockwell-Winner of Judged MMVCT Award


Title:  The Scientist

My photograph, titled “The Scientist”, was taken at my high school for an art project where we chose some of our favorite things to represent us as a person.  The objects pictured are my compass necklace, a #2 pencil, and a piano book open to the song “The Scientist” by Coldplay.  Each represents my favorite things to do and inherently describes me as well.  The compass represents my love for the outdoors, the pencil represents my love for art, and the piano book represents my love for music.  The song, “The Scientist”, represents my decision to become an environmental scientist.  

MacKenzie Moody-Winner of Community Bank Customers, Our Friends & Neighbors Award


Title:  The Covered Bridge at Mingo Creek

The covered bridge at Mingo Creek is my favorite thing because of all the fun things that have occurred there.  For example, the family photos that are taken there, the covered bridge festival, walking the trails, finding wildlife, climbing on the rocks, and being around nature. If you ever need something to do go check out Mingo Creek located in Finleyville, PA., and don’t forget to check out my favorite, the Ebenezer Covered Bridge.

Miranda Gottheld-Winner of the Mon Valley Alliance Bringing People to the Mon Valley Award


Title:  Ride on the Mon

This picture was taken on July 1stof last year.  It was taken on my boat by Smitty’s Marina. My boat is my favorite thing to do in the summer.  Summer is also my favorite season.  I only share my boat and my summer with my favorite people.