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Blossoming artist designs Newport Pioneer Day button

Kristy Yang, 11, took home the title of Newport Pioneer Day button designer for her depiction of the Mississippi River. (Bulletin photo by Emily Buss)1 / 2
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Each year, Newport Elementary School produces an artist whose artwork goes on to represent the city’s Pioneer Day get-together. And this year, 11-year-old Kristy Yang won the honors in a class-wide contest.

The design, which includes waves of water, flowers and a bench, was inspired by the nearby Mississippi River and Yang’s love of the outdoors.

“I like to sit on the bench and watch the water because the river is nearby,” she said. “It’s summer and school’s out and it’s something fun I like to do.”

Yang said she began coloring at a young age and has been interested in art and being creative since she can remember. While thinking of her design, Yang said there was some friendly competition in Ann Madden’s fifth-grade class.

“My friends kept saying that I was the best artist in class but there are a few other kids that I know are really good artists, too,” she said. “So I wasn’t sure if I would win.”

But when she got the call about her winning drawing, Yang said: “I was really proud of myself.”

Yang’s mother, Gao, was equally as proud of her daughter, saying her artistry has been blossoming for several years.

“We’re so proud of her, and we’re very excited for her,” she said.

Newport Pioneer Day buttons enter purchasers into a drawing for a variety of raffle prizes and are available at City Hall, Newport Library and Community Center, North Pole Restaurant, Newport Drug, John Bartl Hardware and South Suburban Rental. The cost is $3, or four for $10.