De La Salle Collegiate High School senior Damian Anonick was named the winner of the 10th annual Christmas Card Contest held by the Brothers of the Christian Schools District of Eastern North America.

De La Salle Collegiate High School senior Damian Anonick was named the winner of the 10th annual Christmas Card Contest held by the Brothers of the Christian Schools District of Eastern North America.

Photo provided by Kevin Fitzhenry


De La Salle student wins Christmas card contest

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published December 14, 2018

 Damian Anonick created a computer-generated design depicting migrant families separated from each other while trying to enter the U.S. at the southern border.

Damian Anonick created a computer-generated design depicting migrant families separated from each other while trying to enter the U.S. at the southern border.

Photo provided by Kevin Fitzhenry

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WARREN — This Christmas, De La Salle Collegiate High School student Damian Anonick is sharing the stories of migrant families separated at the U.S./Mexico border through his artwork, and it has earned him national acclaim.

The high school senior was named the winner of the 10th annual Christmas Card Contest held by the Brothers of the Christian Schools District of Eastern North America. De La Salle is an all-boys Catholic school in Warren.

The contest is held every year,  and this year’s card theme was “modern interpretation of the no room at the inn,” based on the Nativity scene representing the birth of Jesus Christ.

Bringing the image to the modern day, Anonick created a computer-generated design depicting the migrant families currently separated from each other while trying to enter the U.S. While working on his production, Anonick read several news stories about the families affected by the border crisis who he said “have nowhere to go or stay.”

“Looking at the different families, it was very sad,” the Grosse Pointe Woods resident said. “It made me focus on this even more.”

For his portrait, Anonick used a photo of a mother who had just been reunited with her young son.

“It’s a picture from a news article that I found online,” Anonick said. “From that I built the atmosphere around it and built what looks like a Nativity.”

A man, a likeness of a modern-day Joseph, wearing a white T-shirt and cap and carrying a duffel bag, also is in view. Animals are in the background, as are three women, who Anonick said represent the three wise men in the Nativity scene.

The Brothers of the Christian Schools District of Eastern North America plans to mail Anonick’s Christmas card this month to brothers, heads of ministries, board chairs and others. According to its website fscdena.org, the organization is a community of more than 250 Brothers of the Christian Schools and 5,000-plus Lasallian partners and associates, who together sponsor and operate more than 30 ministries in the northeast region of the U.S. and Toronto, Canada.

From start to finish, the card project took Anonick less than five hours over three days to complete. He worked on it during and after school. The high school senior even showed it to art teacher John Hicks to get feedback on the project before submitting it.

“He’s creative and he’s a hard worker,” Hicks said. “He’s always trying to do something new and different. He doesn’t like to settle for an easier solution to the problem.”

As for Anonick’s winning Christmas card, “I really like that he was able to kind of say something with it and do commentary on the current situation,” Hicks said.

Anonick is the first De La Salle student to win this particular contest. He said he was “extremely surprised” when he heard that he had won.

“I’m just happy to see we got representation around the globe,” Anonick said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for other students to see our art program at De La Salle.”

Anonick, who has a 3.7 GPA, began to develop his artistic talents while attending St. Joan of Arc Grade School in St. Clair Shores. Anonick has college on his mind, and plans to study technical engineering or product design at either Michigan State University, Western Michigan University, Kettering University or the College for Creative Studies.

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