Lake Center 7th Grader Uses God-Given Gift to Promote Equality
HARTVILLE – Lake Center Christian School 7th Grade Student Landon Kristoff is the winner of the 7th grade Art Competition for the 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Art, Essay, & Multimedia Contest, hosted by the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC).
Out of hundreds of entries submitted from throughout the state to this year’s contest, Landon was the only winner selected for his grade level, as the judges determined his drawing stood out above the other contest entries, promoting diversity and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Upon learning their son had been named the contest winner, Mr. and Mrs. Scott and Melinda Kristoff said, “We are thankful for the gifts that God has given Landon and pray he will always use his talents to honor the One who gave them to him.”
“We are so thankful that LCCS encourages the arts and appreciate Landon’s current and previous art teachers who have encouraged him,” they added.
The Lake Center Junior High student, who started sketching at the age of 3, said his LCCS Art Teacher, Mrs. Emily Meraj, “was thoughtful enough” to ask him to participate in the OCRC Art Competition this year, presenting him with the contest guidelines.
According to the OCRC, the annual contest is intended to encourage students to reflect upon Dr. King’s life, philosophy, and impact on the Civil Rights Movement and present day America. It is meant to challenge students to think about how civil rights and diversity affect their lives and how they can continue the work of Dr. King in their own way.
Landon said he spent about 35-40 hours, from his initial time of reflection to last line perfected, on his contest entry. He first researched and gathered references for the project, then used his iPad to format how he would bring his artwork together, and finally, spent many hours drawing and shading his piece.
“My decision on what to submit was influenced by my interest in drawing people. I decided to look up famous photographs of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and create a piece that would combine some of his most memorable moments,” explained Landon. “The theme of the competition was how each of us can promote equality and justice. I added my hand drawing the completed picture to represent my desire to use my artistic ability to help people understand the similarities and differences between people.”
Landon said his dad, also an artist, has always encouraged him to use his gift in art for Christ.
As God-given talents are displayed and used for His glory, it is important to recognize them,” said Lake Center Christian School Secondary Principal Mrs. Crystal Maarschalk. “Congratulations, Landon, on a beautiful piece that displays not only a representation of the talents given to you by your Creator but also a reflection on a most influential and revered member of history.“
On Feb. 23, Landon is invited to be recognized at the OCRC Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Art, Essay, & Multimedia Contest Award Ceremony in the Ohio Department of Transportation Auditorium in Columbus, where his artwork will be put on display.
Photos courtesy of Mrs. Melinda Kristoff
Lake Center Christian School is a private Christian school serving 813 students in Pre-K-12th grade on its 50-acre campus on Kaufman Avenue NW in Hartville. Now in its 76th year, LCCS assists Christian families and their churches in equipping students for lifelong learning and service to Christ. LCCS is accredited through the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and Cognia, providing a comprehensive curriculum with a Biblical worldview. LCCS values diversity in ethnicity, economics, and learning styles.