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News » 2009-04-10


By Vicki L. Friedman

The Virginian-Pilot


Free Tides tickets sounded good to Kirsten Crichton.

So when her art teacher at Greenbrier Middle School enticed her students to create a unique poster to earn tickets to Harbor Park, Crichton thought, "Why not?"

The sixth-grader won the free tickets to the April 25 game, but that's not all. The artwork she created will adorn every Norfolk Tides regular-season home program this year.

"It's really cool," said Kirsten, 11, an honors student . "I'm really excited. Now every time I go to a friend's house and see that program lying around I can say, 'That's my picture.' "

Kirsten, who will throw out the first pitch that night against Durham, has never been to a Tides game. But her winning piece still had all the proper elements. All Hampton Roads students were eligible to compete in the contest by submitting an original 8? x 11 poster in any medium. Hers was one of 331 entries.

Dave Rosenfield, the Tides general manager, said the all-encompasssing nature of Kirsten's artwork stood out.

"The imagination with the Orioles logo and the ticket - it just all came together," he said, speaking for the committee that voted. "I think for a kid that age she had a pretty good grasp of the game. It's a business as well by her using the ticket and not just Baseball."

Kirsten outlined all of her elements in black marker first and added color with crayons. The focus of her work is the diamond at Harbor Park, surrounded by the green outfield.

An authentic-looking game ticket - with price, seat number, even Ticketmaster coding - sits near home plate on her poster.

A striking orange and black Oriole, representing the Tides' parent club, the Baltimore Orioles , is an eye-grabber. A Baseball hat in Orioles colors and a bat adjacent to the pitcher's mound are other elements.

The blue Tides insignia dominates the top of the work. The Tides logo, with its loopy "T" was probably Kirsten's toughest challenge to draw.

"Getting it to curve just right wasn't easy," she said.

Her idea came from poring over Internet photos. It's not her first winning art project, either. Kirsten won her city's Reflections contest in the past and placed two other times in the visual art medium.

Another recent favorite project was a ceiling tile she painted as part of Artists for Animals, on display at the city's Humane Society. Kirsten's tile is of a beagle.

"Ever since pre-school, she's always put so much detail in her pictures," said Kirsten's mother, Pam, a teacher at Centerville Elementary in Virginia Beach. Her mother isn't shy about asking for Kirsten's help when she needs an artistic sample to show off to her second-grade students.

"She always says what she does isn't as pretty as mine," Kirsten said.

As much as Crichton loves to draw and paint, she has other interests as well. She's an ice skater who looks forward to joining the school's volleyball team next fall. And she holds one of the lead roles in Greenbrier Middle School's spring musical, "Once on this Land."

But Kirsten always leaves room for art. .

"I have always wanted to go into interior design," she said. "When I grow older, I'd love to make art pieces to sell."

Vicki L. Friedman, 222-5218 or

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 10, 2009

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