LAKE PLACID - The artwork comes in all shapes and sizes, and spans a variety of styles.
There are van Gogh-type pastels, nature-themed oil paintings, colorful theatrical masks and woven, miniature pillows that almost look like they could be crafted from riverbank reeds.
On Friday, May 9, the Lake Placid Center for the Arts opened its doors to dozens of elementary-school-aged artists for a visual art show that packs variety, vibrancy and talent into a single space. The show is open to the public and runs through May 25.
Seven schools throughout the region participated: Lake Placid; L.P. Quinn, Tupper Lake; Flanders, Malone; St. Joe's, Malone; Holy Family, Malone; Chazy; and Davis, Malone. Each was allowed to submit 20 pieces.
Tupper Lake art teacher Aggie Pelletieri brought 25 kindergarten through sixth-grade students to the show.
"The gallery experience, you can't ever repeat that," Pelletieri said. "There's nothing like going to a fine-arts gallery and seeing your work on the walls. There are so many stories right from artists who still remember when they were in fourth grade, and they remember that's when they decided to be an artist."
Fifth-grade L.P. Quinn Elementary School student Kylin Strader agreed that seeing her work displayed is encouraging. Her pastel piece mixes Spanish lessons with art in a colorful depiction of fruit. The name of each fruit is next to it in Spanish, which also helped Strader begin to learn the language. The piece was inspired by the book "Esperanza Rising" by Pam Munoz Ryan.
"I want to be a famous pastel painter when I get older," Strader said.
On a nearby wall is Strader's best friend and fellow fifth-grader Alyssa Keener's oil crayon piece. It depicts brightly colored flowers, all outlined in black in a style typical of artist Romero Britto.
"I have this fetish with flowers," Keener said. "When I made it, it was in the middle of winter, so I wanted to do something bright."
Keener said she doesn't want to continue with that particular style of art and would instead like to pursue cosmetology.
Fourth-grade Malone student Kyran Mosher created a small, colorful weaving pillow he calls "The Arctic."
"I thought pillows made interesting art and wall hangings, so I decided to do one," Kyran said.
His mother, Sarah Mosher, said they are taking a trip to Newfoundland next summer. That might inspire more pillows, but Kyran said his forte is drawing dragons.
"We're excited he decided to enter this show," Sarah said. "I think this is great for their self-esteem, and I'm really enjoying seeing the different variety of things the kids have come up with and are being exposed to. I think it's very important in school for them to receive a well-rounded education, and I think art is an important part of that."