Young artists were recently able to see their work adorn a wall in the legislature's Children's Committee office in Hartford.
State Rep. Liz Linehan (D-103), who serves as the House chair of the committee, issued a call last summer to young artists from her representative district communities, Cheshire, Wallingford and Southington.
“Now that I'm chair of the Children's Committee, what better way to remember the children I serve?” Linehan said, adding that she plans to hold the contest annually.
“I will continue to do it for as long as I'm in office,” Linehan said. “Supporting the arts is so important for the development of our kids.”
This month, proud parents watched as their children helped Linehan pull down the curtain, unveiling the new display.
Cheshire’s Staci Miller is one of those parents. She proudly watched as her daughter Delaini joined her peers unveiling a watercolor painting depicting a rose in purple and blue hues.
“It was quite the honor,” Staci Miller said. “We were very proud of her to submit artwork for such a contest and so happy to see her recognized for her artistry.”
Staci Miller said Delaini has always been creative, describing visual arts as a passion of her daughter's that she began cultivating in kindergarten. The medium — whether it involves paint, scissors, glitter, cardboard or other materials — doesn't matter.
“Art really lets Delaini be herself,” Staci Miller said.
Impressionistic watercolor painting in particular is something she said her daughter has “developed on her own.”
“It has become one of her signature styles. And she's 10 years old,” Staci Miller said.
Bethany Melnick of Southington, was equally proud to see her daughter Brooke's art, a watercolor painting of a bird, displayed.
Bethany Melnick said her daughter has been “into art for as long as I can remember — she's always been into art.”
Along with unveiling the new display, the artists and their families also received a private tour of the Capitol.
Bethany Melnick said her family will “never forget the experience,” including the tour.
“It was a special day,” she said.
Other local artists whose artwork now hangs in Hartford include Natalie Jambor, of Wallingford, Alex Gelda, of Plantsville, Sara Flynn, of Southington, and Nina Chang, of Cheshire.
The contest didn't stipulate the subjects the young artists should choose to depict.
“It's whatever moved them,” Linehan said. One piece depicted Matilda, the title character in Linehan's daughter's favorite book. Others depicted animals, still life and nature. One drawing depicts a woman's hair transforming into birds.
“We were really thoughtful about what pieces we chose. We wanted all three towns I represent to be represented on my wall,” Linehan said.