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First art show ever

School District 833 junior high and high schools have held art shows for years, but having a "real" art show featuring the work of elementary-age students is a first for the district, and the result of having art specialists in all 14 elementary schools since September.

The show, "Got Art?" debuted Monday, March 10, at the District Service Center in Cottage Grove.

Cars filled the parking lot as parents and friends of students attended the opening to see pictures on every wall of the boardroom and in the hallways. Work will be on display through March honoring Youth Fine Arts Month.

Chloe Wilson, first-grader at Armstrong Elementary School in Cottage Grove, had her collage selected to be in the art show by her teacher, Heather Moreno.

Moreno said her art classes studied geometric shapes and the work of famed artist Henri Matisse.

Wilson said she draws at home.

"The crayons and markers are never put away," said Shelli Wilson, Chloe's mother.

Art talent runs in the family, she said, because her son, Nick, is also interested in art, especially collages and stained glass.

First-grader Julie Ma from Cottage Grove Elementary School, had her picture chosen by her art teacher, Yileng Yang.

"I told them to draw a picture using lines instead of shapes," Yang said.

Jodi Watkins, Grey Cloud Elementary School art teacher, selected Emily Shearer's picture to be in the art show.

Watkins brought a quilt to school and her students made pictures of the quilt with paint applied with sponges.

Students participating in the elementary school string orchestra program played during a reception at the show's opening, and punch and cookies were served.

"People who are building a program are so enthusiastic," said Superintendent Tom Nelson who attended the show.

Judy Spooner can be reached at

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
(651) 459-7600