Four Lake Nona High School art students hope to win the Orlando Utility Commission’s rain barrel painting contest in 2020.
The winner’s barrel will be up for display at CityArts, an Orlando-based art gallery on Magnolia Avenue. The winners will also be able to auction their water barrels to teachers and OUC employees, where they will receive all the funds raised for their school’s art program and be featured on the 2020 OUC water conservation calendar cover. The student winners and their art teacher will receive gift cards as well as a plaque.
Carmen N., Fabiana R., Kylin O., and Christopher M. are the four students looking to win this year’s rain barrel contest. The students are taught by Lake Nona High’s very own art teacher, Sabrina Massoni. The students are in her fifth-period Painting II class.
“I have impressed on them that we are a competitive school, and we want to keep our winning streak going, but I’m proud of their work no matter what,” Massoni said.
The student’s rain barrel is filled with hand-painted vintage postcards. Each postcard has either historic architecture, portraits, wildlife and nature, or Disney figures, and each student is responsible for painting their own category. The rain barrel has a background of a slightly clouded, bright day behind the postcards and a collage of present-day Central Florida images.
“It’s more than a normal school project,” student artist Carmen N. said. “We wanted to do something that we all could show our individual styles.”
OUC expects around 153 Orange County middle and high school students to participate in the 2020 contest. The contest is run in themes that include Water Conservation, Florida, Environmental/Eco-Friendly, and Orlando/Orange. The Lake Nona high school students entered their barrel in the Orlando/Orange theme category.
In 2019, another group of Lake Nona High School students won the most creative rain barrel award for their circular mural of Weeki Wachee mermaids.
The OUC rain barrel contest has been ongoing since 2006 to educate participants about the importance of conserving water. About 1,200 students have participated in the contest since it began in 2006. The annual contest hosts its award ceremony for winners and contestants at the Orlando Repertory Theatre in the spring.