When students from the Salida chapter of the Boys and Girls Clubs descended on Sellars Project Space Thursday night, their faces were aglow looking for their art. Their excitement at seeing their work hung in a real gallery was matched only with their delight at the spread of snacks in the conference room. Between cookie bites, the students looked for their art and their friends’ art. Their smiles broadened when they received compliments for their work from Boys and Girls Clubs staff and community members. 

Jasper Coen, 11, poses with his drawing of an entelodont during the Boys and Girls Clubs Annual Art Show Jan. 19.

There was certainly a happy buzz in the air. I saw only smiles for nearly an hour.
Moving around the gallery I met Emma Trollip, 9, who promptly introduced herself and explained the background for her piece, titled “Popsicle Hospital.”
She said, “Most people throw their popsicles on the ground when they melt. And I thought, ‘Where do they go?’”

That thought inspired her artwork of a hospital for melting popsicles. Trollip said once they go to the hospital they are put in a freezer to stop their melting. (I still can’t stop smiling about this creative idea.) Then I met Jasper Coen, 11, who was in the middle of explaining his drawing of an entelodont – an ancestor of the pig from the Eocene Era. Coen said the entelodont was one of the biggest predators of its time. He said they were typically 7 feet tall and 12 feet long.

Many of the art pieces had blue, red and white ribbons displayed next to them.
Jessie Miller, Salida Boys and Girls Clubs art coordinator, said all the first placers and some second placers will go on to compete in the 2017 Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) National Fine Art Exhibit 2017 at the regional level.
This past Thursday was the show for grades 4-12. The previous week was for the kindergarten through 3rd grade, in which 47 kids participated – a record for the club. Three local artists judged the artwork to decide who would carry on to regionals. The Salida Club will be sending 18 pieces.

Emma Trollip, 9, smiles next to her drawing titled, “Popsicle Hopsital” at Sellars Project Space Jan. 19.

Brian Beaulieu, director of Boys and Girls Clubs of Chaffee County, said they will mount and ship the winning art to Fort Worth, Texas, for judging. He said they won’t know how everyone placed until April or May. If any pieces win at regionals they will go on to compete at the national level in Washington, D.C.

Miller explained that in previous years the art shows have been held at the Boys and Girls Clubs. However, this year Miller said she’s had “record numbers coming into the art room” at the club. “I’m super impressed with them and their excitement. This was a big community outreach project,” she said.

Beaulieu commended Jimmy Sellars and Mark Monroe for hosting the show. He said having the students’ art hung in a real art gallery “raises aspirations and interest in the whole art program. We cannot thank Jimmy and Mark enough for supporting and encouraging our kids.”

Jessie Miller, Salida Boys and Girls Clubs art coordinator, smiles while talking to one of her students Jan. 19.

Beaulieu also praised Miller, who joined the team in September, for the quality of the art. “This is our biggest year thanks to our dynamic art teacher Jessie for bringing these wonderful young artists into the spotlight. We have twice as many going to regionals as last year. It speaks to the quality of Jessie’s work with the kids.”

One of the students, Ethan Hansen, 15, won regionals last year with his watercolor on paper. He explained that he left the “brick and mortar system” of education last year and took his schooling online. However, it meant he didn’t have a structured art class. So he turned to his grandmother to provide his art instruction. It was during one of these classes that he started working on his watercolor inspired by the book cover of The Way of Kings.

While Hansen’s piece did not win at nationals, Beaulieu clarified that 2,000 Boys and Girls Clubs chapters participated, and Hansen was one of 10 from his category that participated at the national level. Chaffee County has been participating in the art competition for five years, he added, and Hansen was their first ever national finalist. “We were not surprised it was Ethan,” he smiled.

Ethan Hansen, 15, poses with his handmade sword during the Salida Boys and Girls Clubs Art Show displayed at Sellars Project Space.

This year, Hansen reinvented himself with his first place art piece, a full-size sword he hand-forged from the leaf springs of a truck. “Since it’s spring steel it’s more flexible.” Hansen said his father is a blacksmith and he’s grown up around artists, which has let him “pick up several things.” The whole creative process of forging and grinding took Hansen about a week, and once the sword had its final form, he used a high-speed Dremel tool to etch in the sword’s name and the title of the piece, “Thostar Stellborn.” He said his “fingers are crossed” that he’ll win nationals this year.

Beaulieu said, while the art competition isn’t “all about winning, winning makes it extra fun,” and the national winners will tour the country with their winning works of art.

In last years’ competition, this drawing by Ethan Hansen made it to the finals.

Jimmy Sellars said he offered up the art gallery when Miller came to an Arts Council mixer asking for a bigger space for their budding artists. As to whether Sellars Project Space would host the show again, Jimmy said, “Oh absolutely. When I was 8 my mom entered us into an art exhibit. She didn’t tell them my age. I got in. It changed my life. (Having) that tiny bit of encouragement that I could do it and being included, I starting exhibiting at 9 and I’ve exhibited all over the world.”

Winners for Little Kid Local Art Show 2017

Best Monochromatic Drawing
1st: Skye Hoeller “Atlantic Ocean”

Best Multicolored Drawing
1st: Jesse Kirkland “The Lost Boy”
2nd: Wynston Hochard “Colors”
3rd: Ulysses Jarvis“Freddy’s Pizzaria”

Best Watercolor Painting
1st: Holden Berggren “Salt Stripes”
2nd: Reed Biehner “Lloyd and Lord Garmadon”
3rd: Caydence Slater “Life”

Best Oil/Acrylic Painting
1st: Ella Melia “Field From Above”
2nd: Troy Valett “Puppetmaster”
3rd: Ryus Mattix “Rush Brush”

Best Mixed Media
1st: Santos Evangelista “Color Light”
2nd: Ella Melia “Fox”
3rd: Troy Valett “Grandma Kasey”

Best Collage
1st: Jacob Vaupel “Bob, Love Person, Evil Dragon, and the Nice Sunset”
2nd: Gracie Webster “Beach Land”
3rd: Cedar Seeor “Snowman”

Best Collaborative Group Project
1st: “Freddie’s Pizza Parlor” Isaiah Sparkman, Burke Koehn, and Peyton Bowers
2nd: “Gooseberry Patch” Skye Hoeller and Natalia Tidwell

Winners for Older Kids Local Art Show 2017:

Best Monochromatic Drawing
1st: Domenico Marinucci “Spirit Animal”
2nd: Cassie Johnson “Starelan”
3rd: Jack Hastings “The Parthenon”

Best Multicolored Drawing
1st: Domenico Marinucci “Thoughts”
2nd: Cassie Johnson “Untitled”
3rd: Rowynn Slivka “Burst”

Best Pastel
1st: Teen (name? have spoken with Mallory) Makayla Santucci
2nd: Ethan Hansen “Pastel Vase”

Best Watercolor Painting
1st: Jack Hastings “Dawn at Sea”
2nd: Cassie Johnson “May Starelan Light Your Path”
3rd: Emma Trollip “Messy”

Best Oil/Acrylic Painting
1st: Fisher Holloway-O’Brien “Imperial Forces”
2nd: Ethan Hansen “Jace on Inistrad”
3rd: Anzi Glaser “Rob the Mysterious Cat”

Best Mixed Media
1st: Ethan Hansen “Thorstrar Steelborn” (sword)
2nd: Adrianna Cramer “Letters to Sleep” (fiber arts pillow)
3rd: Fisher Holloway-O’Brien “Running” (wire and cork sculpture)

Best Collage
1st: Jack Hastings “Titanic at Midnight”
2nd: Jack Hastings “Vase of Unity”

Best Collaborative Group Project
1st: “Claming the Sky” Tia Horn, Emma Trollip, Kaleb Tanyi , Wynston Hochard and Maria Garbacz

Best Printmaking
1st: Anthony Schadegg “The Bros”
2nd: Ethan Hansen “Digital Sunset”