Exhibit shows Tupelo student artwork

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – As Lawhon Elementary fourth-grader Jet Adams strolled through the GumTree Museum of Art on Thursday, he brought his mother to a work he had created.
Hanging on the museum’s wall was Jet’s “Chameleon,” one of about 400 pieces of art in the museum’s “Shared Treasures” exhibit. The work of kindergarten to sixth-grade students in the Tupelo Public School District will remain at the museum through April 13. The exhibit’s opening reception on Thursday was sponsored by the Daily Journal.
Jet, 10, described his depiction of a chameleon, telling how he “added a little bit of sparkle to it,” and why he selected different colors.
“I just felt like it,” he said when asked about how he chose his subject. “I wanted to draw a chameleon, and this is how it turned out.”
The exhibit featured a variety of media – acrylic, water color, oil pastel and chalk pastel, among others. There were even carousel horses designed by Carver Elementary students.
“Not only is it a chance to highlight the children and all the great things they are capable of, but it also showcases what strong programs art teachers have in each of these schools,” said Museum Director Kit Stafford.
Rankin Elementary art teacher Jamie Baker said many of the teachers used the art projects to enhance lessons of other subjects, like math or social studies or science.
“It is a wonderful thing,” Baker said of the student exhibits. “We don’t have many different events that bring all of the schools together.”
Thursday gave the students – and their parents – a chance to see their projects featured in a museum.
Hannah Godown, 7, created a Chinese paper-mache mask, and Drew Riley, 10, had a picture with a guitar, flower pot and fruit.
“It feels like you are a real artist,” Drew said.
Nailah Slatter, 7, a second-grader at Parkway made a clay bird that she pained blue and green.
“The clay was sticky, and the paint was really beautiful,” she said.
Caroline Miller, 11, of Pierce Street Elementary, said she enjoyed making the two drawings she had that were featured.
“I like art,” she said. “It makes me happy and proud.”
chris.kieffer@journalinc.com