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Hialeah kids learn the basics, joys of art

Young students’ art work created during a summer arts program in Hialeah was featured at an awards ceremony.

By RODOLFO ROMAN
Special to The Miami Herald
Pointing at his sketch of smiling fishes at sea surrounded by two bells, Marcus A. Milam K-8 Center student Victor Coello, 13, admired his latest work of art.

But his work was more than creativity: It was a dedication to his grandfather, Ramon Coello, who recently died.

“The fishes represent my brother, and one fish is my grandfather ringing the bell,” said Victor, who enjoys fishing with family members. “They are happy because my grandfather came back.”

Two weeks ago, Victor’s drawing was just one of many mixed media art pieces on display at the annual Children’s Art Exhibit and Awards Ceremony at Wilde Community Center, 1701 West 53rd Terr.

The works were created by Hialeah children ages 6 through 17 who participated in the park’s eight-week summer arts program led by artist Neri Quieros. The youngsters competed for art supply store gift cards.

Victor had four drawings on exhibition, including a pastel drawing of a piranha eating another fish with the reflection of the animal hitting the sea.

“If I draw something mysterious, I won’t know what it is,” said Victor. “It makes the picture interesting.”

The summer art program, which began in 1995, kicked off in late June and had 18 youngsters enrolled. Classes were $15 for the eight weeks, and art materials were included. Participants attended classes Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 4 to 6 p.m. The program is held year round and is also offered to adults.

Quieros focuses on teaching the students everything from artistic techniques to the study of various disciplines in art, including water color and pastels. She is proud of the kids.

“These kids are special because they want to be here,” said Quieros. “I am impressed by how these kids are so artistic.”

Last year, Quieros directed children to create collages, but was inspired to work with mixed media art this year after visiting an art gallery. She is grateful for art. “Art is a miracle,” she said. ”It is something God blessed us with.”

At the event, the parents were able to see the hard work the artists put in while enjoying snacks and refreshments. More than 40 drawings were on display featuring everything from Disney characters to flowers and musical instruments.

Krystal Gonzalez, 13, drew a saxophone using pastels.

“I like using my imagination and painting it,” said Krystal, a seventh-grader at Mater Academy Middle-High School.

Students competed for Jerry’s Artarama art supply store gift cards. Children competed in different age categories.

Krystal’s mother, Monica Gonzalez, said art has been instrumental for her daughter.

“This is something that encourages creativity and it could benefit them in the future,” she said. “It also keeps them away from things that are bad. It keeps them busy.”

Leonardo Diaz, 17, is an alumnus of the art program and credits his success to the education provided.

“They teach the rudimentary or the basics and go along from there,” he said. “It is good because it gives you the benchmark to learn art.”

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