The Christmas drawings of three Washington Park Elementary students are expected to grace walls and desks across the state this holiday season.
Pictures drawn by fifth graders Demetrius Avery and Jalen Everett and third grader Hamp Bell were selected from art works submitted by each Scotland County elementary school to appear on the Scotland County Schools 2012 Christmas card.
Washington Park art teacher Morgan Cain submitted six pictures drawn by her students for inclusion in the contest, and was unsurprised by the three winners.
“Kids will bring in stuff that they did at home and I’ll put it on the board so they all kind of check each other’s out and they want to do something better,” she said. “Demetrius is very competitive, so he just wanted to win. There are a few other boys and girls in the mix of challenging each other.”
The project was started in students’ art classes, but Demetrius and Jalen both worked on their drawings while participating in the school’s art club, a group open to fourth and fifth grade students.
“I took time on mine,” Jalen said. “I didn’t finish it in art club so I spent time during recess to finish drawing it.”
Cain provided examples to inspire her students, but they were instructed to add their own touch to their drawings.
“She put everything on the board and said to pick one but not to draw it exactly,” said Demetrius. “There was a snowflake, a deer, a sleigh with Santa Claus. With mine, I changed the color and I put a snowflake behind the elf.”
Superintendent Rick Stout selected Demetrius’ elf along with Hamp’s Christmas candle and Jalen’s reindeer from some 60 entries.
“Jalen was very proud of his drawing,” Cain said. “It’s probably one of the better things that he’s done. He was like ‘I can’t believe I drew that.’ He had a little more confidence come out of it.”
The three winners each won a frame for their artwork as well as a Walmart gift card. While the winning drawings were all naturally holiday-themed, their artists’ preferred subject matter ranges from horror films to action heroes.
“I wasn’t good at art, until I looked at my brother’s,” said Jalen. “One time I was just making lines and it came out a goldfish. I draw people that have the long face, like Scream. I put it in my sister’s face and she gets scared.”
Many of the drawings on Cain’s classroom walls were done by Demarius, who says that drawing has always been relatively easy for him.
“I never drew stick figures, I started with people with heads and bodies,” said Demarius. “I actually work on mine at home and have pictures on my wall: some dragons and dogs, but mainly cartoon characters. I just like to have a challenge.”
Drawing has been a natural pastime for Hamp as long as he can remember, and Cain said that he is the first to step forward to help a classmate.
“If I’m at home and there’s nothing to do, I just sit down and draw,” he said.