Los Lunas

Bright and colorful artwork will line the halls of Katherine Gallegos Elementary on Thursday when the school presents its third annual arts-and-crafts show, “Think Out of the Line.”

Coordinators Laura Coleman and Beverly Stern are helping students prepare for the big event.

“We feel we need to acknowledge and support art in the schools,” Coleman said. “We try and encourage all students to participate. Most of them are really excited. This is something they look forward to.”

Stern says the arts fair connects on a deeper level with other creative outlets such as reading, writing, spelling and speaking. “It’s all interwoven in developing rich language.”

Both women agree the project touches a different group of students — those who might not excel in academics or other competitions, like the science fair.

“This brings out something special. It really helps students’ self-esteem. The arts fair gives them the opportunity to try new things and express their creative side,” Coleman said. “It’s about taking risks and chances through art.”

With the help of Partners in Education, KGE was able to provide $350 worth of art supplies for the kids to work with this year. Students were encouraged to create one or two pieces for the show.

The artists include students from preschool, kindergarten, family school, first through fourth grades and school clubs.

The children are entering projects in the following categories:

Oil paints, watercolor, jewelry, tempera paint, charcoal, papier mache, pencil drawings, colored pencils, cloth, chalk, crayons, puppetry, pastels, markers, murals, collages, paper-tearing, acrylics, clay-polymer, sculpture, weaving, embroidery, macramé and cartooning.

Although Stern hangs all of the artwork for the show herself, the teacher credits the aid of the school’s art fair committee members, comprised of teachers and parents, for making the show such a success.

“Their support makes it easier and more enjoyable,” she said.

Every student gets a certificate for participating, and ribbons will be awarded to 10 honorable mention winners, along with Best of Show recognition.

The students’ artwork will be separated by grade level and displayed on Thursday, April 11, from 6 p.m. until 7:30 in the halls and cafeteria of KGE.

Refreshments will be served, and music will be performed by a former student and his mother. Also, look for entertainment by music teacher Melissa Greenwood and Jack Woody on guitar.

Nine Valencia County artists will act as judges this year. They include: William Benavidez, Nicolas Otero, Mike Morier, Janet Dewhurst, Loy Aragon, Waldy Salazar, Paul Garcia, Prudy Correa, Rose Moya, Stan Franklin.

After the art fair on Thursday, Stern will take the art projects to the children’s department of the state art fair at the end of July. In the past, students have received monetary awards and gift certificates for their winning work.

“We’re moving in the right direction,” Stern said. “This is a start, getting people interested in art. We want the community to know what we’re doing, to recognize the arts in school. It’s for the good of the kids.”

The students’ artwork will be displayed on Thursday, April 11, from 6 p.m. until 7:30 at Katherine Gallegos School.

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Jennifer Harmon