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Art competition on display at JCPL

Jessamine County Public Library will host the third annual Elementary and Middle School State Art Competition this Friday including exhibits from 27 different schools across the state.

The event will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., with an awards ceremony scheduled for 7 p.m. Located at 600 S. Main St., the event organizer Staci Goggins said the exhibit is currently open and includes various works of art to view.

The competition is open for any elementary or middle school art teacher to enter up to five pieces of work. Teachers throughout the state work to select their students’ work and submit it to be displayed and possibly win an award.

“There are a wide range of pieces including drawings, collage, printmaking, painting and mixed media,” Goggins said. “Our student artists are so very talented so if you are able to come check out the display, please do. You will not be disappointed.”

As the elementary representative for the Kentucky Art Education Association, Goggins said she started the All State Art Competition three years ago with Tara Luster, a middle school art teacher in Casey County.   

Goggins also works with the Creative Art League of Jessamine County, and said for the last two years the competition has been housed at the Polvino Art Center in downtown Nicholasville.

This year, Goggins said the JCPL was chosen to display the exhibit as a way to work with another influential organization in the community that supports students.

“The arts hold an important place in our schools,” Goggins said. “So many of our children not only enjoy art, but need art in their lives. Many times school is the only place they get to create and make. Watching students problem solve, plan and design an idea and work hard to see it come to fruition is the most rewarding part for me. The arts are a safe place where students can experiment and experience a wide range of mediums as well as processes. It gives students the opportunities to express themselves, as well as share about themselves. Our students have a lot on their plates and the arts give them the time to just be confident in who they are and enjoy the process of creating.” 

Elena Diaz, a third-grade student at Rosenwald-Dunbar Elementary School, has her artwork currently on display at the exhibit and said it is a mixture of lollipops and wind.

“I was inspired by the sweetness of lollipops because I like candy and wind is important to nature because if we didn’t have it it would be burning hot,” Diaz said. “Art is important because if you are frustrated, you can just pick up a piece of paper and pencil and draw your feelings. When you are happy, you can draw some stuff that will later remind you why you are happy.”

Allison Tucker, a fourth-grader at RDES, said her artwork makes her think about how we can help our animal friends after she was inspired by watching her dogs play and watching shows on Animal Planet.

“(Art is important because) it tells the world that we are animals too and we need to treat them how we want our pets to treat us,” Tucker said.

Alexa Smith, a fifth-grader from RDES said her artwork on display includes three iconic views: the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben in London and the pyramids of Giza.

“There are four girls, or women, facing away from the viewer looking at three famous scenes on screens,” Smith said. “My inspiration for this piece was mostly that everyone can be famous if they want to, no matter (what) their background.

“Art is important because it allows people to express themselves without words and everybody can interpret it the way they want.”