The Great ACP Pumpkin Contest


All the pumpkins entered in the 2020 pumpkin competition.

As we continue to munch on leftover treats and recover from any tricks, we might reminisce on the past Halloween weekend and all the fun activities at ACP. One of these activities was the annual ACP pumpkin contest. Some of the ACP faculty put their art skills to the test and created creative and beautiful pumpkins to display in the cafeteria. All of the pumpkins were as incredible as always, but there can only be one winner. This year’s winner was our lovely art teacher, Mrs. Hillier! I got the opportunity to talk with Mrs. Hillier and learn more about what went into the award winning pumpkin.

Mrs. Hillier’s award-winning pumpkin!

Q: How did you prepare for this pumpkin contest?

A: I didn’t enter last year’s competition, so I was looking forward to this year’s. As soon as we received the call for entries, I began my planning. I ended up choosing to appropriate (re-contextualize) some parts of the artwork. I knew that Starry Night was a favorite of my students’ so I wanted to incorporate that.

Q: How long did it take you to decorate your pumpkin?

A: About six hours. I was just planning on painting one side, but I got so into it that I made the Starry Night sky go the whole way around the pumpkin.

Q: Could you describe your pumpkin?

A: For those of you familiar with art, I appropriated Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” and Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.” In non-art term words, I placed the foreground from “The Scream” and the expressive screaming figure into the “Starry Night” background. I also used an Impressionism style of painting (think small frequent brushstrokes).

Q: How did you pick your pumpkin?

A: I actually left the purchasing of the pumpkin to the last minute, so I went to a few different places trying to buy my pumpkin, before finding the winner at Trader Joe’s. I chose the pumpkin as it was the right shape for the appropriate landscape I was planning.

Q: What was your pumpkin inspired by?

A: It was inspired by Vincent Van Gogh, Edvard Munch, and my students!

Q: What was the prize?

A: Yearlong bragging rights.

Q: How do you feel to receive this honor (winning the acclaimed ACP pumpkin contest)?

Disney-inspired pumpkins!

A: I am extremely excited and proud to be voted as the winner of the 2020 ACP pumpkin contest. I had the biggest surprised smile on my face when it was announced and for the rest of the day. I messaged my husband straight away to tell him. He thought it was unfair that the art teacher was allowed to enter and won!

Q: Do you have any ideas for your pumpkin next year? Could you give us a tiny spoiler?

A: The only idea I have so far is to try and use a cardboard pumpkin (so I can keep it!). I do love appropriating, so that might reoccur in some form. Stay tuned though! I may even place some spoilers on our art class Instagram as I start planning. The instagram is art.with.mrs.hillier.

I would like to congratulate Mrs. Hillier on her accomplishment and applaud everyone that participated in this year’s pumpkin contest. Sadly, this is my last time witnessing this ACP tradition but I know that all our younger Knights are excited to see what the faculty has up their sleeve next year. Try something equally as creative on our day off next week, Knights. Don’t forget to strive for the impossible and be extraordinary!