The second annual Mayor’s Masterpieces Children’s Art Gallery hosted their first-ever reception Tuesday afternoon, allowing the young artists of the city to proudly show off their artwork to friends, family and city residents.
The contest, a partnership between the mayor’s Public Art Commission and the Jackson Arts Council, awarded a first, second and third place artwork, along with an additional Mayor’s Choice award to city children in grades Kindergarten through 8th grade.
The theme of the contest was Earth Day, and Lizzie Emmons, executive director of the Jackson Arts Council, and Andrew Boks, chair of Public Art Commission, were “extremely impressed” at the passion young Jackson artists took to the project.
“There’s so many amazing pieces,” Emmons said. “It’s so surprising how aware children are of their environment—It’s so much more than their previous generations. We find that the Earth Day themed contest brought out some really beautiful artwork, but students are also very aware of their changing environment and their changing earth. It was very surprising and moving.”
“The students are so in-tune with the environment,” he said. “They’re so in-tune with what’s going on around them. Art imitates life, and it’s inspiring to other artists and the community as a whole to see what they come up with.”
The first place winner was self-taught seventh-grader Omarion Harris of Northeast Middle School, who submitted an acrylic canvas depicting Mother Earth.
“It’s just beautiful,” Emmons said, gesturing to it.
Jackson City Mayor Scott Conger agreed.
“This really highlights our young artists of the city, and allows them to display their artwork in City Hall,” he said. “It’s another avenue for us to be involved in the arts in Jackson.”
The artwork will remain on display until May 2. Another art contest will be held in the fall, with details coming soon.
Second place winner was Milo Newsom, third place was Mykala Vinson and Mayor’s Choice was Julie Rodriquez.
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This article originally appeared on Jackson Sun: Second-annual Mayor’s Masterpieces Children’s Art Gallery lets young artists showcase work