Community, Springfield

Creative kids: City Hall hosts Young Artists Gallery

The Springfield Library received nearly 1,800 entries for their bookmark competition, which are now featured in the Young Artists Gallery. Aliya hall/The Chronicle

SPRINGFIELD – Kids are massive generators and art, though their work is not often put on public display. As the chair of the Young Artists Gallery Committee in the Springfield Arts Commission, Summer Young-Jelinek wanted to fix that.
The new Young Artists Gallery will celebrate its grand opening during Springfield’s Second Friday Art Walk from 5 – 7 p.m. on Feb. 14. This month, the gallery will be featuring the nearly 1,800 entries submitted to the 2019 Springfield Public Library Bookmark Competition from K-12 students.
”It was a great opportunity to bring a bunch of positives together,” Young-Jelinek said. ”As far as I’m able to tell, it’s the only year round young artists gallery in the county.”
The bookmark competition has been held for 39 years, and its theme is chosen to correspond with the Summer Reading Program. This year’s theme was ”Imagine Your Story: Fairy Tales, Folktales & Ancient Mythology.” This exhibit will run through Feb. 28.
”It’s a fun way to promote reading in the library,” librarian Taylor Worley, who coordinates the bookmark contest, said. ”(The committee) did a stunning job. It looks absolutely beautiful and it’s impressive having (the bookmarks) in a gallery space rather than just on the wall of the kid’s center.”
Of the almost 1,800 entries, 18 of them were chosen as winners and will be highlighted as oversize prints in the gallery show, as well as being printed and distributed as bookmarks in the library during the year.
The winners are Leah Siefke, Chloe Pearl Innis-Hintz, Olivia Rose Bishop, Neveah Fonseca, Janett Lopez, Maddie Johnson, Yenifer Miranda Marroquin, Fryda Martina Morales-Garcia, Juliet Leslye Devenport, Olivia Dahl, Bella Liesse, Adilyn Quinlan, Kora Lee Flanders, Emma Sahalie Buhr, Ella Jordan, Esteban Arellano, Theodore Caughlin and Keagan Hughes.
The Springfield Arts Commission has a close relationship with the library anyway, Young-Jelinek explained. The commission has a liaison between the two organizations and the library oversees the commission.
Eric Baman, who serves on the Lane Arts Council and the Springfield Arts Commission, said that the gallery is important in maintaining creative energy in young people that will make them stronger in the careers they pursue going forward.
”It inspires and reignites that flame to carry forward,” Baman said, adding that the visibility the gallery gets in mirroring the City’s Artist Gallery adds to the relationship between the artist and community. ”It’s a powerful thing.”
For the first year, the gallery will invite organizations to showcase, but then they are going to open up a call to artists. For the following months, the gallery will showcase work from Adam’s Elementary and work from Celeste Schield Jacobi’s students from her new art school.
Young-Jelinek said that the purpose of the mission is to provide places for artistic expression, and the Young Artist Gallery is the first exhibit they have done in a long time. While it’s rewarding to see how the commission has been a more proactive driver for young artists, it was most rewarding for her to see the look on childrens’ faces when they realized their bookmark would be showcased.
”(They) are just so thrilled,” she said, ”and it’s amazing to them to be recognized in that way.”



View this profile on Instagram


The Chronicle (@thechronicle1909) • Instagram photos and videos