Three Pelham students place in State Superintendent’s Visual Art Exhibit

Published 12:27 pm Wednesday, February 16, 2022

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By MICHELLE LOVE | Staff Writer

PELHAM – Representatives of Pelham City Schools were more than pleased when they learned three of its students won the digital arts categories of this year’s State Superintendent’s Visual Art Exhibit.

The Alabama State Department of Education hosts the annual exhibit once a year and it’s for public school students in kindergarten through 12th grade. This year the winners of the digital arts section in photography were the following:

  • Claire Smith from Pelham Oaks Elementary won 1st Place in Category II, Kindergarten – 2nd Grade
  • Sara Clements from Pelham Oaks Elementary won 3rd Place in Category II, Kindergarten – 2nd Grade
  • Liza Arteaga-Aldana from Pelham High School won Honorable Mention in Category II, 9-10 Grade

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

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

“We love to see that our kids are being recognized for their wonderful work,” she said. “They work so hard, and it’s so nice for them to be celebrated. It just warms my heart to see them excel at things they enjoy doing.”

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

She said she feels art shows are important because they encourage people to look at people’s different perspectives of how they see the world.

Arteaga-Aldana said she loves photography and after her achievement she feels motivated to submit to more contests in the future.

On March 9, winners will be recognized in Montgomery at an awards ceremony and reception at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Their art work will be on display Feb. 4 – 25 for secondary division and March 4 – 25 for the elementary division. Art work will be on display at the Old Supreme Court Library of the Alabama State Capitol.