Macie Hawthorne was raised in Wildwood Crest, New Jersey, where the power of community was instilled in her growing up. So naturally when her mother brought home a flyer to enter the National Arts Program® exhibit in Cape May County, Macie saw this as another way to be involved in her community.
Although Macie will be the first to admit that she was a little hesitant to enter her pencil drawing entitled “Intemporal”. She had originally created the piece as a final project for a drawing class in which she received a B-, the lowest grade she had ever been given on an art piece. However, with the encouragement of her mother, she found the courage to share her talents with the community by entering her drawing in the exhibit. As this was her first time participating in an NAP show, Macie wasn’t sure what to expect, but was overwhelmed by the response her piece received as it was awarded the high honor by the judges, ‘Best of Show’.
Macie’s piece, along with forty-six other artists who won Best of Show at their respective NAP venues, was selected to compete in the Third Annual “Best of the Best” online contest. By taking all of the pieces that have been awarded ‘Best of Show’ by the judges in 2016, placing them online and asking the public to vote, the NAP put the power in the hands of the community to choose their favorite piece as the winner. It was a very close race this year between the top three pieces often changing which one was currently in the lead every few days. In the end, when the contest closed on March 31st, there were a total of 1,383 votes cast with the largest number - 191 of them - for Macie’s piece.
Adding to the excitement of her win, Macie is the first ever Teen (13-18) artist to be named the “Best of the Best” winner! When asked how she celebrated, she stated “By going to my favorite ice cream parlor. Ice cream is the best way to celebrate a win!”
Winning “Best of the Best” for 2016 has certainly confirmed Macie’s passion for the arts as she has dedicated herself to creating more artwork and she even plans to enter more exhibits in the future. As for her plans for the prize money, Macie said that she will be donating the funds to a local family whose house recently caught fire showing that her love for her community extends far beyond just words.