• New Paltz High School Student Wins Voting-Themed Art Contest

     Giuliana DiBenedetto photo


    New Paltz—The Ulster County Board of Elections has announced that Giuliana DiBenedetto of New Paltz has created the winning design in the inaugural Ulster Votes “I Voted” Sticker Contest. Giuliana is entering her sophomore year at New Paltz High School (NPHS). 


    Contestants were asked to design a logo that will be used for “I Voted” stickers, which will be distributed to Ulster County voters participating in November’s general election. The logo will also be used to create digital graphics. New York State Senator Mike Martucci of the 42nd District presented Giuliana with an official Senate Certificate and the Ulster County Legislature also awarded Giuliana the “Pride of Ulster” award at their August 17 meeting for her design. 


    More than 50 students submitted designs, with four of the five finalists entering their sophomore year in the New Paltz Central School District. Joining Giuliana in the contest placements are Kalle Masseo, Soleil Miller, and Mae Rogers. The contest, which was intended to promote the voting process and give young people a platform for civic engagement, was open to Ulster County students ages 13-18 years old. 


    Giuliana, who said she has always considered herself an artist, credited one of her “greatest teachers,” Todd Martin, for teaching students to use Google Draw in the classroom to enter the sticker competition. 


    “Giuliana's design was unique, creative, and fun,” said Martin. “To me, it has a playful feel to it.” 


    Speaking about her winning design, Giuliana said that she included a loudspeaker because she wanted to express the idea that voting gives people a voice. “I believe that everyone should exercise their right to vote and express their opinion because in many other countries people don't get to have a voice or an opinion,” she said. Wanting her design to be “a little quirky,” she decided to draw the letters instead of using a computerized font. The winning design took her roughly 40 minutes to create.


    Giuliana employed art to keep boredom at bay during quiet times of COVID-19 quarantines, doing everything from following a Bob Ross painting tutorial to doodling butterflies on a canvas. “One thing I can say about my art is that everything I have painted has a story or a meaning to me behind it,” she said. 


    Although Giuliana enjoys art as an expression of creativity, she said that she has always dreamed about studying pediatric medicine. She is contemplating becoming a Registered Nurse to work in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit after graduating from high school. 


    Congratulations to Giuliana!