Carving up pumpkins in Montevallo

Junior Tyler Ford and seniors Nicole Ray and Bailey Jones begin practicing their pumpkin-carving skills in Hilary Whitson’s art class at Montevallo High School. (Reporter photo/Christine Boatwright)

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO – The Montevallo High School art program will kick off a new tradition this fall with a pumpkin carving contest.

“I thought it’d be a more interesting fundraiser than your typical ones to raise money,” art teacher Hilary Whitson said.

Whitson, who has taught art for 15 years at both Montevallo High and Montevallo Middle, said the money would fund National Art Honor Society field trips, as well as supplies for the art department.

The contest will be divided into four age groups with different entry fees — K-fifth grade entries are free; sixth-eighth grade entries cost $10; ninth-12th grade entries cost $20 and adult entries are $25. Whitson said applicants may use paint along with carving, especially in the younger categories. Also, groups can enter pumpkins together.

“We’re not looking for typical stenciled ones,” Whitson said. “A whole elementary class can enter one together.”

Contestants should take their pumpkins to Main Street Tavern by 3 p.m. Oct. 27, as the judging will be held before the evening Art Stalk on Main Street. Awards will be announced at 6 p.m.

Whitson said judges will be University of Montevallo art professor Ted Metz, Thompson High art teacher Dian McCray and Oak Mountain design teacher Michael Johnson.

Pumpkins will be judged on creativity, quality of execution and imagination, Whitson said.

Applications for the contest are due Oct. 24, and can be found at Montevallo High, in local businesses or by visiting Podcasts.shelbyed.k12.al.us/hwhitson/.