Forbush Middle School showed up in Times Square last month. Lucero Pelagio, an eighth grader, received national recognition after her artwork was one of 900 pieces selected to be featured in New York City.
Pelagio’s art teacher, Penelope Freeland, decided to submit Pelgio’s work for the contest. Only 900 entries were selected from across the United States. The piece was featured at the National Art Education Association Conference and was also displayed on a billboard in Times Square from March 1 through March 4.
“At first I couldn’t believe it; I didn’t think it would make it to New York,” Pelagio said. “When I found out that it made it to New York I was happy.”
“I was ecstatic and I was probably just as excited as she was,” Freeland said. “It was an honor to have one of your students accepted into any exhibit.”
The assignment that led to the piece focused on mapping. All of the departments within the school were teaching lessons based on mapping. Freeland’s class was assigned a project that would require them to select an image related to North Carolina and enlarge the image proportionately using a mapping technique.
“[Lucero’s] choice was flowers.,” Freeland said. “We mapped out a smaller picture that she was looking at in a grid and we enlarged the grid proportionately to do her flower on the larger paper. She just looked square by square and created her picture and colored it with colored pencils.”
Freeland said that the most impressive thing about Pelagio’s piece is that the grid she used to enlarge the picture is not visible like many of her other student’s work.
“With hers you don’t even see the grid at all,” Freeland said. “That was another nice point of her piece because you couldn’t even tell the way she had created it; it was all so unified.”
Pelagio said that she has been interested in art since she created her first piece of artwork in the fifth grade. Pelagio says she likes to draw animals, plants and letters and that she thinks that might like to go to art school after she graduates.
“Lucero is very talented, it doesn’t matter what the assignment is or what aspect you ask her to create a piece in; it’s always awesome,” Freeland said. “She has a very good eye and she’s a very mature young lady and she does well in all of her classes. She’s a super student and she does super work. “
Next, Pelagio’s work will be featured at the North Carolina Museum of Art beginning May 5.
Freeland hopes that this recognition will make Yadkin County residents realize that this county’s students can achieve just as much as larger counties in North Carolina or anywhere else in the country.
“Our students in Yadkin County are just as talented as anywhere else in the world,” Freeland said. “It’s a great opportunity anytime we can showcase [students] in any spotlight. I’m just tickled that Lucero had this opportunity.”
Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at email@example.com.