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For most art students, the thrill of having their work displayed in a gallery for all their family, friends and art lovers to see is one of the greatest moments of their lives. Many of them have waited years, even decades before their work sees the light of day.

But for three Roosevelt elementary students, their wait has been rather short lived, to say the least, as their work was a part of the Citizens’ for the Arts Day at the Missouri State Capitol on Feb. 10 in Jefferson City.

According to the Missouri Citizens for the Arts (MCA), who hosts the event, the art show takes place annually at the Missouri State Capitol. Citizens Day is MCA’s signature event in a year-round efforts to advocate for continued public funding for Missouri’s arts industry.

This year, the drawings from third graders Braydon Bennett and Clair Hampton and from fourth grader Jocelyn Grimes were selected to be presented at the event.

Bennett’s work was presented to Rep. Linda Black, R-117. Hampton’s work was presented to Rep. Kevin Engler, R-116 and Grimes work was presented to Rep. Elaine Gannon, R-115.

For these three students, the journey to the capital started at the beginning of the semester when their teacher, Sarah Basler, submitted their work, along with five other students to the Southeast Missouri Arts Council’s 2016 Children’s Arts Festival in Cape Girardeau.

“I knew about the art festival for a while,” Basler said. “Last year, we missed the deadline, so this year, I submitted the work for my students and brought them down myself.”

According to Basler, some of her students have participated in the Mineral Area College Student Art show, but this was a first for time any of her students have participate at the Children’s Art Festival.

“We have always done the show at MAC. I really love it,” Basler said. “But the Children’s Art Festival is still in the area and is really beneficial to our students, and it’s tied to the (state) Capitol art show.”

To be selected to go to the Citizens for the Arts Day, the students' work was submitted to the Children’s Art Festival and then were picked by a panel of experts, who taught elementary art, to go on to the Capitol.

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For Grimes, who had a yellow and white skull print entered, the Cape Girardeau show was not her first art show. She has competed in the MAC student art show twice, but this one was the biggest fair she has competed in.

“We have been really excited about what she has done,” said Cherilyn Grimes, the young artist’s mother. “She had not shown it to us so Friday night was the first time we got to see it.”

Joining Grimes on the same exhibit wall was Bennett and Hampton, whose art work will be traveling to the Capitol as well. Bennett’s piece features a multi-colored owl and Hampton’s piece is a totem pole.

For Hampton, the art show will be her first time to be entered in a large show, but she is no stranger to having her work exhibited, at least on the local level.

“I have had my work for smaller things but nothing this big,” said Hampton. “At school, we can display our work for the week.”

In addition to traveling together, the three also share a love for drawing. According to their parents, all three have exhibited a penchant for drawing since they were small.

“Ever since Braydon could hold a pencil, he has liked to draw,” said Mandi Smith, Bennett’s mother. “Going to the Capitol is pretty exciting.”

Although third grader Bryce Bloom’s work was not selected to be presented to go to Jefferson City, his work was still appreciated by the judges and was awarded first place in the third grade division.

“We had no idea that this was such a big art show,” said Bloom’s mother, Heather Bloom. “Bryce was more into drawing when he was younger than he is now, but this is very exciting.”

In addition to  Bloom, Bennett, Hampton and Grimes, four other students, Hope Duncan, Brooke Ladd, Sofia Rattini and Payton Brown, were also picked to have their work exhibited at the Children’s Art Show.

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Craig Vaughn is a reporter for the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-518-3629 or at cvaughn@farmingtonpressonline.com

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