Announcing the Winner of Our Sketch Contest

Four Freedoms Park Conservancy is thrilled to announce the winners of our second annual sketching contest, Sketch 4 Freedom, which invited artists of all skills to visit FDR Four Freedoms State Park and create artwork inspired by the of theme celebrating public space. Participants were encouraged to explore the meaning of public space and the various ways people use public space to enrich their lives.

All submissions were reviewed by our wonderful jury, composed of:

  • Robert Balder, Executive Director Cornell University, College of AAP

  • Melanie Reim, Illustrator, Associate Dean for the School of Art and Design at Fashion Institute of Technology, Professor, Fulbright Scholar

  • James Richards, Artist, Author, Instructor at Urban Sketchers

  • Megan Rispoli, Project Manager, Walter B. Melvin Architects, LLC

Jury members weighed in on the interpretation and clarity of the theme, creativity and originality of the depicted theme, the quality of artistic composition, and overall impression of the art. We tallied their scores and, drumroll please…! The winners are…


In first place…Richard Clements, “Serene Space”

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“I wanted to capture the calm, peaceful feeling that exists at Four Freedoms Park. People look like they enjoy the surroundings with an untroubled serenity, and I wanted to somehow how try and convey that. I wanted to utilize the park’s straight lines and architecture to guide the viewers’ eye into the drawing and out onto the city landscape.” — Richard Clements

In second place…Hugo Barros Costa, “Kahn’s Agora”

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“I started this sketch last time I was in NYC (January 2018, although I wrote 2017 in the drawing!). I’ve done dozens of sketches at this Park, one of my favorite places in NYC, but I never had the chance to draw this perspective, the one that, in my opinion, better reflects the sense of ‘public space’ at Kahn's project. The winter light was perfect and the trees amazingly beautiful. Also, this landscape format (60x30cm) was ideal to represent the wide panorama. I remember drawing people that were passing by, enjoying and giving sense to that ‘public space’.” — Hugo Barros Costa

In third place...Robert Miller, Unnamed

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“Kahn established a number of routes to approach/depart the Memorial that deploy forced perspective: people approaching seem to take too long to arrive while those departing take too long to disappear. This drawing was make at the intersection of the up and down processional routes, on axis with the granite cap.” — Robert Miller


All three sketch-artists will receive gift cards for a 6-month subscription to SketchBox, a curated monthly art supply delivered directly to your door. In addition, Richard Clements will receive a Four Freedoms Park swag bag, a signed copy of Freehand Drawing and Discovery: Urban Sketching and Concept Drawing for Designers, and a $300 gift certificate to Blick Art Materials.

Special thanks to all of our judges for their hard work and feedback and a very warm thank you to Richard Alomar of Urban Sketchers who organized a sketching meet-up at the Park and helped shepherd this program. 

This sketching contest is generously supported by SketchBox