Three Pelham students stand in State Superintendent’s Visual Art Exhibit – Shelby County Reporter

By MICHELLE LOVE | Personal editor

PELHAM- Representatives from schools in the town of Pelham were more than thrilled when they learned that three of her students had won the digital arts categories in this year’s State Superintendent’s Visual Art Show.

The Alabama State Department of Education hosts the annual expo once a year and is aimed at public school students in kindergarten through 12th grade. This year the winners of the digital arts in photography section are as follows:

  • Claire Smith of Pelham Oaks Elementary won 1st place in Grade II, Kindergarten – Grade 2
  • Sara Clements of Pelham Oaks Elementary won 3rd place in Grade II, Kindergarten – Grade 2
  • Liza Arteaga-Aldana of Pelham High School won honorable mention in Grade II, Grades 9-10

Clements and Smith are both in kindergarten. Smith’s winning piece is titled “Happy Sun” and Clements’ winning piece is titled “Color Tree.”

Amanda Knight, visual arts teacher at Pelham Oaks Elementary, said she couldn’t be happier for Clements and Smith in their placement.

“We love to see our children recognized for their great work,” she said. “They work so hard and it’s so nice for them to be celebrated. It warms my heart to see them excel at the things they love to do.

Arteaga-Aldana’s piece was taken at Lookout Mountain in Georgia and she said she was surprised to receive the honorable mention since she originally took the photo to “preserve a memory.”

“I was really happy and shocked at the same time,” she said. “I didn’t think anything would really come out of it when I submitted it. I submitted it because I loved how the photo turned out.

She said she thinks art exhibitions are important because they encourage people to look at people’s different perspectives on how they see the world.

Arteaga-Aldana said that she loves photography and after her success she feels motivated to submit to other competitions in the future.

On March 9, winners will be recognized in Montgomery at an awards ceremony and reception at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Their artwork will be on display February 4-25 for the secondary division and March 4-25 for the elementary division. Artwork will be on display at the former Supreme Court Library of the Alabama State Capitol.


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Reggie S. Williams