Young Artist Wins National Award

Nora Bradley, fifth-grade artist

There’s nothing like a fresh start to inspire creativity. This is certainly true for 10-year-old Nora Bradley, a fifth grader at Marion Cross School. She is one of Norwich’s newest residents having only arrived this summer from Acton, MA with siblings Ryan (6), Maeve (9), Aidan (12), and parents Emily, a preschool teacher, and Patrick, a patent lawyer.

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Nora admits to being bored upon arrival, and turned to sketching to pass the time. Her new hobby took a serious turn when her mother introduced her to the July edition of Cricket Magazine, a children’s magazine for ages 9-14 that publishes fiction, poetry, literary nonfiction and artwork. Each edition features either an artwork or writing competition. July’s competition was entitled, “Summer Recess”, and asked readers to submit an original art piece of their favorite summer activities. The theme was well suited for an active girl like Nora, who also enjoys playing soccer and hockey.

Like all quality pieces of artwork, the creative process was neither rushed nor instantaneous. For a week Nora persevered on her sketch, which was done in colored pencil. The end result was titled My New Swing, a self-portrait of her sitting on a wooden swing underneath a shady tree. The background featured a bright yellow house set in a green field. And in tradition of the finest summer days, the sky was blue. While Nora says it’s not an entirely accurate depiction of where she lives, any local onlooker could easily picture this as an idyllic Norwich setting.

When Nora received a thin letter from Cricket, she chose to not open it assuming it’s slimness equated to rejection. But when her curious siblings interjected, she learned the big news sometimes comes in tiny packaging. Upon hearing that she had been selected as a 2nd-prize winner in the 10-and-under category, she immediately started jumping around the room with excitement. With hundreds of applicants from around the nation, her proud mom knew the competition would be stiff, but remembering her daughter’s diligence, was not shocked that Nora was bestowed this honor. As an award, her sketch is featured in the November/December edition of Cricket Magazine.

Currently, Nora has plans to continue creating art, and has been enjoying her time in Norwich. With her immense talent, Norwich is glad that she and her family are here, too.

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