Elementary students showcase talent during district art show

Kooser Elementary School student Santana is a shining example of the positive power art can have on lives of all ages.
Santana, a fourth grader at Kooser, shared his talent alongside dozens of other young artists at the 2024 elementary district art show. Lincoln Public Schools students, parents and community members gathered at the Steve Joel District Leadership Center and the Hawthorne Building this spring to look at more than 220 vibrant drawings, paintings and prints.
Santana presented a watercolor painting that showed a nature scene full of hope. He said art is comforting for him and has helped him feel better.
“Many bad things have happened to me, but I figured out how to move away from them and start having a more happy life,” Santana said.
Joann said she has noticed the uplifting influence of art in her son’s life. She watched with pride as Santana explained how he created his watercolor scene.
“I think it’s good for him,” Joann said. “It’s good to freely express his emotions and puts him in a better mood overall. He draws at home too.”
Santana’s artistic skills have also made a major impact on other people. Morgan Beach leads art classes at Kooser and watched Santana paint a bright rainbow above green grass and flowers. He drew clouds above the rainbow and flipped back his paintbrush to create rain droplets on the canvas. He added a teal-and-blue sky with the words “Days can be sad but always stay happy” at the top.
“It’s going to be hard for me to part with this,” Beach said. “I’ve already talked with the computer teacher, and I’m going to make a whole bunch of color copies. I’m going to have a hard time parting with this particular piece.”
LPS students Vanellope, Granger and Ke’dric also spoke about their artistic creations. Vanellope, a second grader at Roper Elementary School, created a print of floating hearts for the district show. She made hearts of various sizes in two rectangular prints. One side featured a solid blue-and-white design of the hearts, and she made the second side in an identical shape through a “ghost print” process.
“It’s kind of like jelly,” Vanellope said. “Every color you have to paint on paper and then you put on a kind of jelly, and then you stamp it on the paper. If you still have a little more paper left, then you can make a ghost print.”
Granger is also in second grade at Roper. She produced a print called “I Love U” using the same type of method.
“I did it because I love a lot of people,” Granger said.
Granger said it was fun to cut out her design on paper and roll paint on it. She said it was “very special” to know her artwork was giving other people joy at the district show.
Ke’dric talked with excitement about his drawing of a giraffe that was on display. He picked a full spectrum of hues and shades for the giraffe when he began working on it.
“I chose the gold because gold is my second-favorite color, I chose the pink down here because that’s my first-favorite color, the blue is my third-favorite color, and then I did these for the different spots,” Ke’dric said. “I did the ears because it looked cool.”
Kafi said he was happy to see his son gain confidence from the art projects he has completed at LPS. Ke’dric is in fourth grade at Adams Elementary School and has brought home many drawings from his art classes.
“I think it’s amazing,” Kafi said. “I’m very proud of him. He has a lot of skills, and one of his skills that he’s really good at is art, so I’m glad that he was able to express himself in this painting.”
The district exhibit is one of many opportunities LPS artists have to showcase their successful work. Individual buildings host dozens of art shows throughout the school year. Art teachers also guide students in projects such as the “Only One You” rock painting venture at Kahoa Elementary School and the Glow Art Show event at Humann Elementary School.
In addition to providing examples of artmaking abilities, the district show also gave glimpses of the personal power art can have on society. When Santana was asked why he liked painting, his response was immediate and heartfelt.
“You’re the reason I love art,” Santana said as he pointed at Beach.
Beach smiled back, knowing that art would give Santana a chance to create many more winning rainbows in his life.

Click here to learn more about the wide array of art classes available at LPS. The site includes a list of school and district art teachers, programs of study and links to area museums and galleries.

The school district’s secondary art show will be on Thursday, May 9, from 5-7 p.m. at the Steve Joel District Leadership Center. 
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Published: April 24, 2024, Updated: April 24, 2024

Parents share smiles with their daughter at the 2024 elementary district art show. LPS students, parents and community members gathered at the Steve Joel District Leadership Center and the Hawthorne Building for the show. It featured more than 220 vibrant drawings, paintings and prints.