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Dreams That Hang on Mall Walls

Jun 13, 2016 09:22AM ● Published by Alisha Soeken

The 2016 Secondary Art Show was held in the Fashion Place Mall. —Alisha Soeken

Gallery: Dreams That Hang on Mall Walls [4 Images] Click any image to expand.

By Alisha Soeken | alisha@mycityjournals.com


The Louvre Museum holds the “Mona Lisa,” New York has “The Starry Night” and here in Murray hangs the promising work of local young artists. 

The Secondary Art Show, held in the Fashion Place Mall, gives Murray students the opportunity to create and the platform to share. In a place that suggests conformity more than creativity, the colorful and courageous expressions of young artists contest that conformity.

Sydney McEven, a ninth-grader at Riverview Junior High, is one of those artists.

“This is the first oil painting I’ve ever done,” McEven said. 

She points to the entry that won her third place in the junior high division. The painting is a Renaissance-style piece entitled “Grandpa’s Backyard.” It’s of an expanding tree settled above still water and rich in texture and greens. 

“Painting is a great way to express and relax yourself,” McEven said. 

McEven’s mother, Mindy Short, said of her daughters third place win,

 “I am very proud of her, but I’m not surprised. Sydney is very talented.” 

Also at the show with her mother was Sophia Kirkham. Kirkham is in tenth grade and attends Murray High School. Kirkham submitted two ceramic pieces, her favorite entitled “My English Cottage.” 

“I love to do the wheel, but this little cottage I did by hand.” Kirkham said. 

The cottage is detailed and beautiful with speckled walls, yellow shutters, a chimney and a quaint green door — details that bring its small walls to warm life. The piece took Kirkham three months to complete, and its mastery wouldn’t suggest that Kirkham is only in her first year of using the medium.

Kirkham’s mother, Amelia, is proud of not only her daughter’s accomplishments but also her son’s. Ben Kirkham attends Brighton High School as an eleventh-grader and, like his sister, has two pieces on display. Ben used pen as his medium for both works, and the realism and precision he applies in that medium are remarkable. 

“It’s fun to come and see my kids’ hard work. I’m very proud of both of them.” Amelia said.

The Secondary Art Show was open to all Murray students from seventh grade through twelfth. The categories of entry included sculpture, tile glazing, printmaking, painting and photography. 

A $25 cash award was given to the overall first-place winner in the junior high division. Awards of $50 were given to each first-place category winner in the high school division. 

But for the students who entered, it wasn’t about the money or awards. Creativity was the drive for participation and accomplishment its payoff. 

The community also had a payoff of its own, with access to the art. Lance and Louvoe Linton were on their evening walk and were excited when they stumbled on the show. 

“It’s amazing how well these kids do. They paint and do such beautiful work,” Lance said. 

“I love art but don’t have the talent for it, so it’s nice to be able to come and see these,” Louvoe said.

As color, shape, texture and image freeze in front of Lance’s, Louvoe’s or any other viewer’s eyes, that art is seen in its basic form, as the creator’s dream. Those dreams might one day be seen on the walls of the Louvre Museum or hang next to “The Starry Night,” but for now they hang proudly on mall walls.

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