Who doesn’t love kids art — art produced through the love of creativity, color, curiosity and fun! The Youth Art Show, currently featured at the Questa Public Library, at the library embraces this statement and much more. Students from Questa to Red River came together to produce a great display. On Saturday, November 4, the students arrived at the library for a public opening and awards ceremony.
Maya MacDonald, the art teacher from Alta Vista Elementary in Questa, brought in colorful and expressive work from her students. She focuses her program by stating, “The Alta Vista art program is one that strives to encourage creativity, problem-solving, and exploration through art. At the same time, we work to introduce classic art-making techniques which open new worlds of creation to students. Students are able to explore topics relating to themselves, their home, and their identity; all while building fundamental skills.” Maya used many creative techniques with her students. You will see watercolor self-portraits, pastel landscapes, and printmaking.
Lorie Hawkes, from Red River Charter School, rounded out the display with more elementary student work and with a nice display of junior high student artwork. Mrs. Hawkes describes her program as “inspiring her students to observe the beauty of the world around them,” and uses “academic connections, works of famous artists, and seasonal themes” to plan enjoyable lessons with a purpose.
Mrs. Hawkes older students’ artwork merged with the curriculum. These artworks were focused around two connective curriculum projects. One was drawings of poppies, tied to the remembrance poppies that are still worn in Commonwealth countries to remember veterans of wars that her 7th and 8th-graders learned about while studying WWI. Her second project used the theme for the annual Youth Hispanic Heritage Contest this year: “Todos Somos, Somos Uno”, or “We are All, We are One.” In keeping with this theme, her 7th and 8th-grade class created color wheels to represent the world in space. Some placed the continents of North and South America over the color wheel, where the majority of Hispanic people live. The colors represent the many races and personalities, or “colorful” people of the world.
While every elementary student received a fun, inspiring ribbon, only a select few of the upper-level students received ribbons. This included five place ribbons, with the top three receiving a little something extra in the form of a gift certificate to Walmart. A very special award, the “People’s Choice” award, with a gift card, was also given out. This award was open to all the students, both elementary and upper level.
The upper-level awards went to students from Red River Charter. First place went to Ava Ortega, second place to Gideon Hampton, third to Michkayla Jadlocki, fourth to Amari Martin, and fifth to Lydia Prentice. The People’s Choice award went to Alta Vista student Ryan Pacheco for his colorful self-portrait.
We would like to thank the two art teachers who participated in this year’s display. A special thanks goes out to Maya MacDonald and Lorie Hawkes for helping our youth grow and develop critical thinking skills through art. Creativity is the driving force behind all problem-solving. We are very lucky to have you working with our youth.
If you haven’t already stopped by the library to have a peek at that wonderful, creative show, please do. The display is up through the end of January, 2024.
One last thing, as an additional salute to creativity, please remember that on December 18, 19, and 20, the Questa Library will be giving out free art materials to all local youth, through the “art kits for kids” Questa Creative Council project. If you would like to help the QCC raise money for the endeavor, please go to questacreative.org and donate a few dollars: every little bit helps.