Kids’ art inspires creativity in Summit County
Ryan Summerlin March 13, 2012
Fourth-grader Ella Bower may not yet know the word “Bohemian,” but in her imagination, she understands it.
The orange plaster mask she created, adorned with a peacock feather popping out of multicolored yarn hair, represents a “very colorful, beautiful young artist who loves to draw creative, wonderful designs,” she wrote on the description of her work. “Her paintings are inspired by her features in her hair, her jewelry and her colorful highlights.”
Her mask is one of 60 pieces hanging on walls of the County Commons as part of the latest public art installation. The show features artwork from kindergarteners to fifth graders from Frisco, Silverthorne and Dillon Valley elementary schools. The County Common’s glass case displays also highlight three-dimensional pieces from students, such as Frisco fifth-grader Carson Michalowski’s masquerade masks, which she makes from plaster cloth.
Dillon Valley art teacher Lynn Krystopa helps kindergarten through fifth-graders develop fine motor skills, while instructing them in art history and the elements of art. As she works with them throughout the years, she points out the strengths in their pieces and tries to build on them, she said.
The show exemplifies how much diversity thrives within creative minds. Teachers gave students the same assignments, such as making an Aboriginal dot painting, a monochromatic shoe painting, a Henri Matisse fishbowl or a patterned shirt design. Yet each piece bursts with different tones, patterns and “flavors.”
Pamela Gutierrez Soto is only a first grader, but anyone can see Picasso’s cubism reflected in her “snowman.” And Silverthorne second-grader Aileen Luna’s scratch art takes viewers on a cosmic underwater exploration filled with jellyfish, seahorses and fantastical fish.
“I was quite pleasantly surprised at the caliber that came from the elementary schools,” said organizer Sandy Greenhut.
She invites the public to come to Thursday’s reception from 5-6 p.m. to meet the students, as well as superintendent Heidi Pace, Frisco Elementary principal Renee Hill and Dillon Valley principal Cathy Beck.
Greenhut plans to feature Summit Cove, Upper Blue and Breckenridge elementary schools next year.