'Art at the Capitol' honors local student artists

By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Wed., May. 18, 2011
Dillon Sundara is congratulated by state Sen. Gary LeBeau, with state Rep, Jason Rojas and state Rep. Henry Genga. Photos by Frances Taylor.
Dillon Sundara is congratulated by state Sen. Gary LeBeau, with state Rep, Jason Rojas and state Rep. Henry Genga. Photos by Frances Taylor.

Beaming with pride, Elizabeth Martinez stood in the atrium gallery of the State Capitol in front of a design she had drawn, while her mother snapped a picture. Martinez, 7, is one of more than 100 young artists whose work currently hangs on display in the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

“Art at the Capitol” is an annual event, sponsored by state Sen. Gary D. LeBeau (D-East Hartford). It features the art of students from East Hartford, Ellington, South Windsor and East Windsor. Students from the third senatorial district have had their art showcased at the state capitol for more than 25 years, in a program first started by U.S. Rep. John Larson (D-1st District) when he was a state senator.

LeBeau has sponsored the program to recognize young artists for the past 15 years. “A good self image comes from a sense of accomplishment – that's what self esteem is all about,” LeBeau said. “I've had at least three senators tell me how great the art is this year – it’s so filled with fun, vitality and energy.”

The students whose work is selected also get a tour of the Capitol and a certificate of achievement. More than 200 family members of students filled the marble atrium of the Legislative Office Building for a recognition ceremony on May 12. “Art is about taking what we have in our lives and transforming it into something new,'' LeBeau told the students. “It’s about making ourselves brand new every day.''

The work of two students from each school is selected by art teachers to represent their school. Boatemaa Ennin, 10, a fourth-grade winner from Langford Elementary School in East Hartford, said her art project was an example of “radial symmetry.”

Brenda Parker, an art teacher at Pitkin Elementary School, has served as coordinator of the event for the past two years. “This event showcases the students' work, and shows the passion and creativity our students have,” Parker said. “It also shows how important art is to the overall education of our students.”


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