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Elementary art headed to Topeka exhibit

Posted Date: 03/12/2018

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Two pieces of artwork by elementary students have been selected for inclusion in a statewide exhibit at Topeka. A paper mosaic by Layla Reinecke and a tempera painting by Devon Kueser will represent Chanute Elementary at the show in the Topeka Public Library.

The statewide exhibit is part of Youth Art Month that is celebrated every March by the Kansas Art Educator’s Association. Every art teacher in Kansas is invited to submit one piece.

This year the exhibit was moved from the state capitol, where the exhibit typically lasted one day, to the Topeka Public Library where the show will extend from March 14 to April 29.

The one-day event and awards ceremony made it difficult for some students, parents and teachers to attend the show or see their students work, said CES art teacher Brett Rinehart. Now it will be on display for nearly six weeks, with a reception and awards ceremony planned for April 29.

The pieces by Kueser and Reinecke were part of class assignments given by Rinehart and art teacher Halsey Wright.

Kueser, a fifth grader, said that her teacher showed photographs of tiki masks, discussed the history of the Polynesian masks and told them to create their own designs.

“I encouraged them to think up their own (facial) expressions and designs, to be creative and have fun with it,” Rinehart said.

Kueser said she likes the black lines she added around her designs.

“It makes the colors stand out more. I think that looks cool,” she said.

“She did a very good job with all the design she added into it,” Rinehart said. “Her attention to detail and outlining added to it.”

Wright’s intent “to get away from collage’ structured mosaic design” was the purpose behind the assignment she gave her fourth graders.

Reinecke said she drew the face of a fox, then began cutting out triangles, squares and rectangles for her mosaic design.

“I did the outline, then chose colors to look like a fox,” Reinecke said. Around the fox’s face, “I tried to make it look like stars and then started putting green paper around it.”

She admitted to being pleased with her own design. “I like foxes,” Reinecke said.

Wright said she liked “the way she chose the colors so that the face of the fox looked realistic” even with the white spaces among the stars.

Story by: Connie Woodard