Students express themselves through art

It might be with charcoal, pencils or paints.

Whatever the medium, some local students are making an effort to fine-tune their artistic abilities and have received recognition.

Indiana’s electric cooperatives and their statewide magazine, Indiana Connection, recently named the winners of the 26th annual Cooperative Calendar of Student Art contest.

Artwork was judged on artistic merit, originality, creativity and its suitability for a wall calendar. The contest is open to any Indiana K-12 student.

A first-place artist was selected for each grade K-12, and each will receive $200 and a certificate. Their artwork will illustrate the cover and the 12 months of a 2024 calendar. Thirteen additional artists earned an honorable mention award and $75. These works will appear in a special section of the calendar.

Two Jackson County students earned first-place honors, and two others received honorable mention.

The first-place artists from Jackson County and their grades were Serenity White, Medora, kindergarten, and Chloe Holtke, Seymour, sixth grade. Those receiving honorable mention were Arabella White, Medora, second grade, and Lily Fouts, Seymour, fourth grade.

Those students all have something in common — they take art lessons at Kay Fox Art Studio located at The Herbal Alternative in Seymour.

Holtke and her mother, Churee Bowling, were at the art studio Wednesday and brought the certificate she received for her contest entry.

Holtke attends the Seymour Middle School Sixth Grade Center through Owl Tech and said when it comes to art, she mostly likes painting and drawing.

“I drew a purple and yellow roller coaster with people on it for the calendar contest,” she said. “The calendar month I was drawing for was June, so I started thinking about summertime and state fairs.”

Holtke said she plans on saving the money for a trip she has coming up.

Fouts is the daughter of David Fouts and Sara Luedeman and is a fourth-grader at Immanuel Lutheran School in Seymour.

“My drawing was a softball for the calendar month of May,” Fouts said. “I drew that because I play softball, and I used watercolors for my contest entry.”

Fouts said in some of her art sessions, she likes painting dogs because she likes dogs and has two of them.

Chloe Abbott, daughter of Karen and Larry Abbott, is in seventh grade at Immanuel Lutheran School and enjoys taking art classes with Fox, she said.

“I’ve been taking lessons here for a while, and I like to paint, especially animals,” she said. “I’m drawing a goat for the fair.”

Abbott said she lives in the country but not on a farm, but her cousins do and they have goats.

Fifth grade student Phenix Jones attends Cortland Elementary School, and his parents are Michelle and Matt Walls.

Jones said his entry for the contest was for the month of June, and he drew a shipwreck, treasure chest and a shark.

“It was last minute, but I really wanted to draw a shipwreck,” he said. “I like taking classes here because she’s a really nice art teacher and provides the supplies.”

Seymour Middle School seventh-grader Cali Ann Fox also is a student at Kay Fox’s studio and she entered a patriotic art contest sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary.

The daughter of Ben and Cassie Fox took first place for this area with her drawing of an American flag. Her art will now go on to be judged in Kansas.

Fox also won first place in the 2022 Indiana Co-op calendar contest, and her drawing of a cat and butterfly is featured for the month of June in this year’s calendar.

“The VFW contest required something patriotic, and I drew a folded flag,” she said. “I used chalk pastel, and it took me more than one art session to finish it.”

Cali said she has been taking art lessons with Kay for two or three years.

Fox offers private and group art lessons at The Herbal Alternative, 2015 N. Ewing St., Seymour.

Some of Fox’s other students who entered the Electric Consumer art contest were Thomas Kinder, Owen Kinder and Harley Koons, who also has won previously.

Students with ties to Jackson County who entered the Indiana Junior Duck Stamp Contest and finished second include Owen Kinder in the grade K-3 class and Annie Boyd in the grade 10-12 class.

Those finishing in third place include Evelyn Parmley from Emerson Elementary School in the grade K-3 class and Thomas Kinder in the grade 4-6 class.

Fox has been teaching art for more than 28 years. She was a member of Southern Indiana Center for the Arts for several years and now has a studio at The Herbal Alternative.

“I supplied all of the materials needed for their entries here in the studio, and then I filled out the paperwork and sent them in together,” Fox said. “I’m proud of all of my students and their work.”

Fox said she teaches all ages and all mediums, like oils, acrylic and watercolors, and she also teaches drawing and how to draw the human form and more.

Not all students are involved in sports, and art gives them a way to express themselves, she said.

She is currently offering private and group lessons at The Herbal Alternative. To make an appointment or set up a class or activity, contact Fox at 812-216-6309.