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Winners of last year’s “A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words” competition were, from left, Mason Flynn, Bailey Collier, Haley Jackson, Cailin Cutts, Alana Dapper, Ashlinn Dapper, Kelsie Ray, Cassidy Warren and Gregory Fletcher. This year’s winners will be announced Oct. 8 at the museum.

ALBANY — The Albany Museum of Art’s fifth annual “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words” writing competition opens Saturday for students enrolled in southwest Georgia high schools and colleges. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three essayists in each of the college and high school divisions at the awards event at 6 p.m. Oct 8.

The deadline for submitting an essay to the competition is midnight on Sept 21.

For the second year, middle-schoolers will be included in the competition through an outreach program available in the classroom. While there are no cash prizes for middle-schoolers, winning essays in that competition will earn the writer and his or her classmates a free field trip to the AMA.

“This is a great way for students in high school and college to get acquainted with the museum,” AMA Director of Education and Public Programming Annie Vanoteghem said. “They can spend an extended period of time with a specific work of art and uncover what that art is saying to them, either directly or indirectly.”

To participate, a student must visit the AMA and select one of the six designated works of art on the “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words” art object list. Each of the six objects is labeled for the contest and each will be on display at the AMA for the duration of the contest. The objects may be found in the exhibitions “Figure Forward, Educators as Artists” and “Fragments of a Violent World,” which continue at the AMA through Oct. 12.

Students may visit the galleries as often as they like. The Albany Museum of Art does not charge admission, so there is no cost to visit.

After selecting one of the objects, the participating student writes an essay of up to 1,000 words relating to the piece. The essay may be written in any style, and may reference real-life events or be fictional. Essays should be written in Word document or a Word-compatible format. Essays may be submitted beginning Aug. 24 to 1000Words@albanymuseum.com.

High school and college entries are judged separately, and each of the two divisions will include awards of first, second and third place, as well as up to three honorable mentions. Cash prizes will be awarded to each of the top three essayists in each division. The awards are $250 for first place, $150 for second place and $100 for third place.

All winning essays will be published at albanymuseum.com.

The winning submissions will be announced at an awards ceremony and essay reading at the Albany Museum of Art at 6 p.m. Oct 8.

“This is a terrific way to interact with art in a meaningful way and hone writing skills that are important for students, whether they’re getting ready to take the next step in their education or at a point where they’re looking at entering the job market,” Vanoteghem said. “Also, it’s coming up just as the winter holidays are starting, and what student couldn’t use prize money at that time of year?”

The official competition rules can be found at albanymuseum.com/1000-words-writing-competition. For more information, contact Vanoteghem at annie.vanoteghem@albanymuseum.com or call (229)439-8400.

The Albany Museum of Art is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is free. For more information about the AMA, visit the www.albanymuseum.com website or call (229) 439-8400.

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