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story.lead_photo.caption Ron Blocklage, left, and John Lombardi stand next to their artwork on display Monday in the third floor Capitol Rotunda. They are among four students from Russellville Middle School who were among those recognized during the annual Youth Art Month Capitol Exhibit. The event is sponsored by the Missouri Art Education Association and concluded Youth Art Month. Photo by Julie Smith / California Democrat.

Youth Art Month wrapped up Tuesday with a ceremony in the Missouri state Capitol to acknowledge students who created works of art in their classrooms over the past year.

Brooklyn Wood, left, is one of four students from Russellville Elementary School among those recognized Monday, March 4, 2019, during the annual Youth Art Month Capitol Exhibit in Jefferson City. The event concluded Youth Art Month, which this year ran Feb. 12-March 11. She is interested in marine biology, so she painted a picture of a whale which she stands next to while her mother, Christina Wood, takes her picture.
Photo by Julie Smith/California Democrat.

Established in 1961, Youth Art Month provides a forum for recognizing the artistic skills students develop in their schools.

This year, the Capitol displayed 219 entries from 217 students who represented 55 schools throughout the state.

The theme chosen for the 2019 event was "Start with Art, Learn for Life."

This year's Governor's Choice Award winner was "Life is Better on the Farm," a depiction of farm life superimposed over a silhouette of a calf, created by, Katelyn Lebow, a student at Galena High School in Stone County. The piece is to be matted, framed and displayed in the Governor's Office until next year.

Gov. Mike Parson also selected the Governor's Mansion Award winner, a pencil sketch of a toddler wearing bib overalls. Leigh Ann Pope, a student at Salem High School, created the piece.

A contingent of students from Russellville was among those whose work was displayed in the Capitol during the event, which occurred from Feb. 12 to March 11.

Ron Bocklage, a 14-year-old eighth-grader, drew a piece using pencil and ink. Bocklage said the drawing, which includes a number of tree houses in a single tree — drawn using two vanishing points — is untitled. He said he wasn't entirely certain why he chose to draw the tree houses.

"I've always loved tree houses," he said. "Having an enclosed space that is high up would be more fun for me."

There is "a lot to it that's good," he said, but there are also choices he made within the piece that he regrets.

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Eighth-grader John Lombardi had two betta fish a couple of years ago. They inspired his pencil drawing, which was displayed at the Capitol.

"I kind of like that I managed to get all the details in (using) pencil," Lombardi said.

Jaden Jenkins pointed out her collage of a fox under falling leaves Monday morning.

Jenkins said although she didn't remember naming it — the artwork was listed as "Fox in Autumn" — it had been so long since she created it that it was entirely possible she had suggested the name.

"I really liked foxes at that time. And my favorite season is autumn," she said.

A fifth-grader from Warsaw, 10-year-old Henry Breshears had created a pencil drawing of a barn and windmill.

His mother, Amie Breshears, said the family lives on a farm with a very picturesque barn, but the farm doesn't have a windmill.

"I'm not really sure what the judges thought," Henry said. "I hope they liked it. Some of the other ones are really good."

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