'Reflections Art' gives students outlet for creativity

'This is people going to an American flag,' said Kellogg Marsh Elementary third-grader Connor Braillard, who didn't know why he drew that picture Nov. 4.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — The Kellogg Marsh Elementary PTA is hosting the "Reflections Art" program in its school building in November and December, with a theme of "Beauty Is ..."

Wendy Messarina, the English Language Learners multilingual parent/community Spanish liaison for the Marysville School District, explained that the Reflections Art program allows students in grades ranging from kindergarten through high school to work on projects in various media at home. She elaborated that Kellogg Marsh is offering Reflection Art classes in its building after school, Nov. 4 and 18 in the D2 classroom from 3:30-4:30 p.m., for second- through fifth-grade students with signed parental permission slips, available in both English and Spanish.

On Nov. 4, three volunteer moms supervised 13 students in using acrylic paints, magic markers, colored pencils and crayons to create entries for the program's "Visual Arts" category.

Third-grader Kaitlyn Desjarins drew a "burning heart" from scratch, and enjoys drawing almost every night, because it gives her something to do.

"I like painting and drawing and coloring," said third-grader Iris Ortega Pollo, one of at least three students in the class to produce a picture of a ladybug. "It's awesome and cool."

Second-grader Keili Roberts enjoyed mixing yellow and blue paints to create the green leaf that her ladybug perched on.

"I though it would be cool to draw, because I like it when ladybugs crawl up my arm," Roberts said.

Fifth-grader Aitana Bonneau was inspired to draw her ladybug on a leaf after imagining a tropical scene, while fellow fifth-grader Carley Wika used an abstract pattern of stars, hearts and other shapes to draw "my own beauty."

"What I've learned is art isn't perfect," Bonneau said.

"I just close my eyes and see all this stuff," Wika said. "If you close your eyes, you can draw anything."

Messarina sees the Reflections Art program as an opportunity for students to receive positive feedback and learn from their mistakes.

"Even good artists mess up," Messarina said. "Everything can be art, with guidance and the right tools. I hope parents appreciate and encourage their children's art. And no, art is not just a 'girl thing.'"

"Boys often don't think that art is something they're allowed to do," said volunteer mom Nasca Richey. "It gives kids confidence in their abilities, lets them learn technical skills and helps them find beauty in things like ladybugs and seashells."

The Kellogg Marsh PTA is looking for judges for these art pieces from Nov. 30 through Dec. 3 between 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For more information, call Richey at 425-971-5101.

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