Purple face produces happy face
Best of Show recipient Natalie Chambers displayed her winning entry, flanked by Mom (right) and Rosedale Middle School Art Teacher Sandra Nelson.
Some of the first place blue ribbon recipients who showed off their winning entries were (back l to r) Kira Morris, Natalie Chambers, Tyler Hartsfield and (front l to r) Matthew Anspach, Brandon Hill and Kailey Blair.
A bold decision to use bright purple instead of natural skin tones was the right decision for Liberty High freshman Natalie Chambers who received the Best of Show Ribbon at the annual Kern County Fair Children’s Art awards ceremony held on Sept. 24 in the fairgrounds’ Harvest Hall in Bakersfield. Chambers’ painting titled “Indian Maiden” was judged the best among 613 entries from 47 schools throughout the county.
Chambers was an eighth-grader at Rosedale Middle School when she painted her winner which was entered in the fair competition in May.
“Actually, I had been planning on using natural skin tones for the face, but the more I thought about it, I decided to just go for the purple.” Chambers said. “I think it is the focal point of the painting because it really makes all the other colors, such as the facial war paint, stand out.”
Chambers’ judgment was not questioned by her Rosedale Middle School art teacher Sandra Nelson. After all, Chambers had been the school’s female artist of the year in both seventh and eighth grades. The bright colors and the purple face were a bit of a departure for her. Chambers’ favorite subject has always been people, but in the past she had confined her artwork to pencil drawings.
“When Ms. Nelson told me in May she was going to enter it at the Fair, I got really excited,” Chambers said. Nelson has a pretty good eye for talent. Four other students of hers in past years have earned the Fair’s Best of Show Award and school Sweepstakes Trophy, which remains in the school’s trophy case for an entire year.
“The picture is great, but it would not have been as impressive were it not for Natalie’s choice to use purple paint,” Nelson said. “I have a pretty good eye for talent and when I saw what she could do last year, I thought this painting had a great shot at being the sweepstakes winner.”
Sponsored by the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office, the annual competition promotes and showcases art created by public school children in special needs classes and students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade. First place ribbons are awarded at each grade level, as well as honorable mention ribbons.
Much as Nelson has been a familiar fixture at the annual awards ceremony, so too has Panama-Buena Vista Union School District Art Teacher Julie Fleming. Tabulating success, Nelson had six finalists, three of which were winners in this year’s competition. Fleming had five finalists, two were blue ribbon champions.
“It is remarkable, but teachers have told me they actually schedule tests on the days art classes are taking place because they know students will show up for class,” Fleming laughed. “There are absolutely no discipline or absentee problems in my classes because the students have requested the course. They want to get done what they have started.”
Entries for the Fair competition were received in May. Each one had to be original in both design and color. Only the top two or three from each classroom survived tough preliminary judging. The Fair Children’s Art Committee pared the submissions down to the final competitors. Final Fair judging took place on Sept. 16. All of the artwork was displayed by grade level inside Harvest Hall during the Fair’s run, Sept. 17-28.
“Every piece of student art hanging in Harvest Hall deserves first place, so we had to make some very difficult decisions,” said KCSOS Curriculum Coordinator Kathleen White, who presided over the awards ceremony.
Kern County Fair Children’s Art results:
Best of Show
Natalie Chambers, Rosedale Middle School
1st - Arthur Gonzales, Golden Hills Elementary
Honorable Mention - Sierra Jones, Golden Hills Elementary
1st - Chasity Fletcher, Stockdale Elementary
Honorable Mention - Andrew Bransby, Endeavour Elementary and Andrew Bernard, Golden Hills Elementary
1st - Alejandro Romero, Rio Bravo Elementary
Honorable Mention - Nayeli Camacho, Berkshire Elementary; Brettnee Williamson, Rio Bravo Elementary and Jayden Gray, Williams School
1st - Matthew Anspach, Stockdale Elementary
Honorable Mention - Jakob Koebrick, Centennial Elementary and Savanna Tumey, Williams School
1st - Kailey Blair, Centennial Elementary
Honorable Mention - Suzette Cabrera, Orangewood Elementary and Alyssa Ramirez, Rio Bravo Elementary
1st - Brandon Hill, Planz School
Honorable Mention - Darian Rodriguez, Princeton Street School; Mia Rios, Rio Bravo-Greeley and Chandler Bandoli, Almondale Elementary
1st - Karina Birrueta, Maple School
Honorable Mention - Taylor Camarillo, Rio Bravo-Greeley; David Perez, Maple School and Morganne Hill, Rio Bravo-Greeley
1st - Brittney Lu, Quailwood Elementary
Honorable Mention - Ashlyn Hamilton, Quailwood Elementary; Ruben Reyes, Blanton Elementary and Destine Rahberger, Jacobsen Middle
1st - Kira Morris, Rosedale Middle
Honorable Mention - Roxana Chaidez and Celeste Carrera, Rosedale Middle
1st - Tyler Hartsfield, Rosedale Middle
Honorable Mention - Mandy Xiao, Rosedale Middle; Andrew Hansen, Jacobsen Middle and Maria Ornelas, Edison Middle
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