PCM student selected for art showcase


by Tara Enlow

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” — Pablo Picasso
When schools’ budgets are cut, art programs are almost ensured to be one of the first programs to suffer. Despite pleas from students, teachers and parents, art classes just aren’t seen as essential by lawmakers. That’s where the Art Educators of Iowa come in. Not only do they try and stress the importance of art education to students, but they also speak to legislators. The quote above is scrawled across the group’s webpage, and it perfectly describes what the group is trying to do for students: Find their gift, and sophomore Isabella George has.
With the help of Kirk, one of George’s latest works was entered into The Art Educators of Iowa’s Youth Art Month, or YAM. YAM is a celebration of visual arts for grades kindergarten through twelve. George’s piece was one of the few selected to be displayed in the State Historical Building in Des Moines.
“Bella’s art skills are really strong, and she works hard to continue to develop them,” High School Art Teacher Ms. Sara Kirk said. “She is extremely creative and not afraid to try new things, which makes her work so unique and interesting.” Along with George’s, multiple other students’ works are currently being displayed.
“It feels pretty great,” George said. “I think it’s like a confidence boost knowing that someone liked what I do enough to put it in the Historical Building. Art is my thing, so it makes me feel great when someone likes it.”
The piece George chose to send into YAM is a realistic painting of the pop star Lady Gaga. George chose the piece because she believes it’s her best, and the people who judged YAM must have thought so, too.
Being featured in the Des Moines Historical Building is obviously a proof not only of George’s talent but also of her dedication and admiration for art.
“I’ve always liked art; it has always been my favorite class,” George said. “I honestly think my favorite thing is that I can do whatever I want. Ms. Kirk will teach us a method or an idea, and we can use it in any way we want. I always hated in elementary that everyone’s paintings or drawings looked the exact same. I love the freedom that art gives you.”
George hopes to teach that freedom to kids in the future by making a career out of her love for art. Her future in the field is promising.
“I can’t see myself not doing anything with it [art]. It’s what I love to do,” George said. “I really want to be an art teacher, so I can inspire people like me to do what they love.” Kirk is in the same boat as George when it comes to her future in art. She commented that George would definitely succeed as an art major.
On top of considering majoring in the subject, both George and Kirk are planning on entering her future pieces into more contests, including the district art show in the spring.
George’s art will be featured in the Des Moines Historical art building through March 7, when there will also be a reception and awards ceremony for her work and the other students whose work was showcased as well.