Jordan Plummer, a second-grader at Iduma Elementary School, shows off her quilt made with felt and buttons to her parents during the ninth annual Killeen Independent School District Visual Arts Show Monday evening at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center.

By Philip Jankowski
Killeen Daily Herald

Students from elementary to high school proudly displayed their artistic talents Monday during the beginning of a weeklong exhibit at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center.

More than 1,000 works of art in media ranging from colored pencil, paint and papier maché to digital works created on computers lined the walls of displays from 24 Killeen Independent School District campuses.

The ninth annual KISD Visual Arts Show continues through Friday. Students from across the district will visit the show during the week to see what their fellow students have created.

Emily Cole stood proudly next to her fractal pencil drawing of orange, yellow and red skeletal hands criss-crossing each other on a circular canvas. The 16-year-old Shoemaker High School junior said she got the idea from a similar pattern of hands she saw on the Internet.

However, she wanted to do something different for the assignment. Using one of her favorite artistic media, colored pencils, she created a colorful patchwork of hand bones with smaller skeletal hands hidden on the painting.

“That’s what I try to do with my teaching, to get them to do something new instead of just copying,” Shoemaker High School art teacher Karen Mouton said.

Mouton said Cole’s work was one of her favorites from the year.

Though Mouton’s teaching encourages her high school students to express themselves, Iduma Elementary School art teacher Amelia Rabrooker said she works to incorporate her students’ curriculum into art assignments.

“I always put the art first, but if I can make a natural connection, I will,” said Rabrooker.

Students used the study of states of matter in wax and metal reliefs.

They saw firsthand how when the wax was heated, it turned into a liquid, only to settle into a solid after cooling into the recesses of their small, metal squares and bringing out the plant designs the kids had molded.

Rabrooker’s students also had artwork on display created in conjunction with lessons about economics and Haiti. But her big draw was pieces of cake crafted out of papier maché, toilet paper and newspaper.

The cakes drew excitement from kids in attendance, one remarking that it made her hungry.

The Visual Arts Show leads up to the weekend’s Take 190 West art festival that will feature professional area artists, contest winners from the school district and a sculpture contest.

Among the contests is a fifth-grade book-writing competition. Students created stories individually and collaboratively.

Fifth-graders whose books were selected from the 300 entries as finalists were surprised to learn Monday that a local print shop had reprinted their books in paper pamphlets with glossy and colorful covers.

Kate Blancaffor and Carter Reaves stood smiling as their parents snapped photos of them holding their story, “Summer Friends.” Kate said she was happy to learn their story had been picked as a finalist.

“It’s a story about three friends deciding what they’re going to do for the summer,” she said.

Winners will be chosen Friday.