By Faribault Daily News |

GALLERY: Faribault students' artwork showcased at Paradise Center | News | southernminn.com

If you’re looking for a splash of vibrant colors to compensate for the dreary weather, the second floor of the Paradise Center of the Arts is the place to go.

It’s the time of year when area schools showcase the best of their students’ artwork, each piece created as part of school curriculum. From now until April 6, paintings, drawings and an assortment of other art pieces cover the walls in a special Paradise gallery.

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Seventh- and eighth-graders from Cannon River STEM School made these art pieces, which are currently showcased at the Paradise Center. (Misty Schwab/Faribault Daily News)

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Faribault Middle School students created these bright art pieces, which were selected for the student gallery at the Paradise Center. (Misty Schwab/Faribault Daily News)

“We’re pretty grateful the Paradise Center has always had the youth art show,” said Sidona Malz, art teacher at Jefferson Elementary. “This year, Jefferson students from kindergarten to grade five have art work up.”

Malz selected about 40 student art projects to represented Jefferson Elementary. Some of the projects, like the jaguars her fifth-graders draw, have been part of Jefferson’s curriculum for a long time. Most of the projects Malz selected are seasonal. Since the art show always approaches sooner than she expects, she starts picking out projects as early as fall.

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These winter pieces were created by Jefferson Elementary third-graders. (Misty Schwab/Faribault Daily News)

Third-graders at Jefferson used pastels to duplicate Vincent Van Gogh paintings.

“Miss Malz gave us the basics, but we got to pick the colors, at least most of them,” said Elodie Oelkers, whose artwork is on display at the Paradise Center. “Instead of doing just blue and white, I did blue, white, and purple to make it stand out more.”

Oeklers’ artwork was previously selected for the student gallery at the Paradise Center. This time, she didn’t expect Malz to choose her work so early in the school year.

“I thought I was really proud of myself,” said Oelkers. “This is only my second project in the whole year.”

Claire Anderson, a fourth-grader at Jefferson Elementary, made one of the art pieces Malz selected for the gallery. Among the drawings and paintings on display, Anderson made Roman coins out of actual metal. With Sharpie markers, she drew hearts and flowers on the coins. Malz showed students how to shade in their coins to make them pop, but Anderson chose what to draw.

“It’s fun to see that you did good at something, and it makes you feel really good,” said Anderson.

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Claire Anderson, Jefferson Elementary fourth-grader, made Roman coins on display at the Paradise Center for the Arts. (Misty Schwab/Faribault Daily News)

The Paradise Center hosts an open house event for the children and their families every year, complete with refreshments and a chance to tour the gallery. The event also gives students a change to appreciate artwork from other schools and see what projects they might complete at other grade levels. This year’s grand opening was March 1.

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Naomi Aizpura, Roosevelt second-grader, points to her artwork in the Paradise Center's student art gallery. (Photo courtesy of Wanda Holmgren)

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Roosevelt kindergartner Oden Tidemann stands in front of his artwork on display at the Paradise Center. (Photo courtesy of Wanda Holmgren)

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During the Paradise Center's open house for student artwork, Roosevelt fifth-grader Sivana Schwartz stands beside her selected art piece. (Photo courtesy of Wanda Holmgren)

“It’s really a great opportunity for the families to see what the Paradise is, to see what their project offerings are, and just for them to experience an opening,” said Wanda Holmgren, art teacher at Roosevelt Elementary. “They have a great reception, and it’s fun for [students] to see their work and their parents to be proud of them.”