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Wyoming Group Launches Drug-Prevention Art Contest; Winners Earn Cash Prizes

February 14, 2013 - Casper Star-Tribune

A drug-prevention group is enlisting the help of Wyoming teenagers to share its message about the dangers of methamphetamine.

The Wyoming Meth Project on Wednesday launched a statewide contest for artwork with an anti-methamphetamine theme. Organizers will award $18,000 in cash prizes to eight winners, including one who's selected through a vote on Facebook.

"It gives [teens] the opportunity to show their talents and show what they can create," said Jennie Miller, who's coordinating the art project. "And I think by doing that, they are getting involved with the topic and really examining the dangers of meth that is more effective that just having someone tell you about it."

Established nearly five years ago, the Wyoming Meth Project uses gritty advertisements and community action programs to discourage methamphetamine use. For its latest project, the group decided to ask teens to create art that discourages meth use.

"It's going to be kind of fun to see what they can come up with," Miller said after a press conference at Kelly Walsh High School to announce the contest.

Some students have already started, including a Kelly Walsh sculpture class that made coil pots adorned with anti-meth messages. Sophomore Nicky Sink brought a pot to the press conference that told the story of a 16-year-old girl who was beaten by her older boyfriend while they were using drugs.

Sink said she found the story online.

"That was their life for a long time until they got arrested," Sink said. "She got clean. He's still on meth."

Sophomore Joe Hernandez etched the different methods for making methamphetamine onto the sides of his pot. On the top, he inscribed the Meth Project's tagline: Not Even Once.

The 16-year-old said he learned about the dangers of methamphetamine while preparing for his project.

"Doing the research, it taught you different things about meth," he said. "You were doing it on your own and it didn't get jammed down your throat."

The Take A Stand Against Meth art contest is open to people ages 13 to 18. Entrants can submit any medium of visual art. The deadline to register for the contest is March 18. For more information and contest rules, visit www.MethProject.org/WyomingArtContest.

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