|Summer Bush with her artwork|
The Maine Education Office in Augusta celebrated March as Youth Art Month with an exhibit coordinated by the Maine Arts Education Association. Student artwork from around the state is on display in the main corridor of their offices. Summer Bush, a fourth grader at Raymond Elementary School, contributed her Cat on a Limb artwork to the exhibit. She was selected and recognized at an opening celebration on March 3.
It all started from an art assignment by RSU14 Art Teacher, Robin Greeley. Greeley, who teaches artat both Raymond Elementary and Windham Primary Schools, provided a step by step artwork assignment on how to make a cat. Little did the young artists know that there was a possibility their creative endeavor would be among those to be chosen, sent to Augusta and selected to be display at the Maine Education Office.
“To make it fair, I do not choose which students’ artwork is to be chosen in any competition,” stated Greeley. “What I do, is select the top 20 students who show some potential and then let the principal, vice principal and teachers choose their favorite art work, without the name of the artist attached so they have no clue who they are voting for. Once they have voted, I then take those final votes and ask the staff to vote on the remaining art. As a result, the students are chosen based solely on artistic merit.”
After going through the selection process, it was determined that Bush was the winner. Greeley stated that she contacted Bush’s mom first to get consent and permission to move forward. “My mom told me that my artwork was going to be on display in Augusta,” explained Bush. “Although it seemed exciting, I had no clue what she was talking about. ‘What do you mean’, I asked.”
It was after talking with Mrs. Greeley the next day that Bush fully understood the honor she received
as a young artist.
as a young artist.
It seems Bush comes from a family of artists. Both her mother and father enjoy artwork and create their own drawings and sketches. “My mom calls me an artist,” Bush said. And, although Bush loves to draw, she doesn’t’ see art as a potential career. “I want to be a veterinarian,” she said, explaining that art would only be a hobby when she is an adult.
When asked how she gains inspiration for her new-found hobby when she is not in the classroom, Bush states that she looks at items around her house for creative insight. “I sit in my bedroom and look at everything that is in the room,” she began. “And I happen to look at something and decide it would be fun to draw what I am looking at.”
As for other budding artists, she encourages individuals to draw, paint, etc. from what life has to offer. “My dad likes to draw what is in the garage,” she explained. “We also took a trip to Boston recently, and he drew things that inspired him from the city.”
Bush’s professionally framed painting will remain on display until November of 2019. Then, it will forever remain on the wall of the young artist’s home, where her parents will be eternally proud.