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Staff photos by DARWIN WEIGELSt. Leonard Elementary School teacher Sarah Camilliere looks at artwork with her son Peter Camilliere, 7, a second-grader and first-grader, foreground, Chad Smialek, 6, at the school’s art show Thursday.
At St. Leonard Elementary School, original art pieces were flying off the shelves for less than $40, professional frame included. The artwork was created by hundreds of young artists who roam the halls of the elementary school each day.
The elementary school held its first-ever all student art fair Thursday, March 6, where students’ art was matted, framed and priced to sell.
‘‘I think it’s great for their self-esteem,” art teacher Jeniene Wishart said of the art fair.
Wishart coordinated the fair, which raised money for the art programs at the school. Wishart said students in grades kindergarten through five were able to choose from two of their favorite drawings to include in the fair.
Wishart said she had many favorites but particularly enjoyed the kindergarten work as the drawings were a result of a study of Piet Mondrian. While the children at that age may not remember what Mondrian was known for, they did get to incorporate his style and use of primary colors in their artwork.
As a gallery participant wandered through the many isles of student artwork it was evident that art was a big role in the student’s lessons.
‘‘While you paint, you express your feelings,” said Kaleb Harris, 8.
Harris had a piece on display of a castle with a king and a queen, people smiling out of windows and guards at the door.
‘‘I was feeling happy, that’s why people were smiling out of the windows,” he said. ‘‘You think of what you feel like. If that’s what you feel like, you just draw it.”
Harris’s castle with a rainbow above it is just one example of the plethora of thoughts, ideas and feelings on display.
‘‘There are a lot of talented young kids,” said Tim Evans, father of student Audrey Evans, 9.
Evans and his wife Karen said having the fair and selling the art as if it were a professional gallery made students feel proud.
Equally as proud was St. Leonard Principal Toni Chapman, who was assisting parents with baked goods provided at the gallery.
‘‘I am thrilled with the turnout,” Chapman said.
Chapman said the fair not only boosted the children’s self esteem, but, ‘‘makes them think of their artwork a little differently.”
St. Leonard plans to have the fair again in the future and other schools throughout the county are planning similar fairs as well.