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Old 06-22-2018, 07:17 PM
Newton Daily News Newton Daily News is offline
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Default Newton Christian students display artwork at DM Arts Festival

Attending the Des Moines Art Festival is an annual tradition for Lisa Davis — every year she comes back to Newton full of fresh ideas and inspiration. This year will be especially sweet for Davis, the art teacher at the Newton Christian School — she’ll get a chance to see her student’s artwork on display at the festival.

“I love being inspired by seeing all the other artist’s work and seeing what inspires them, seeing their life story appear in their art,” Davis said. “You get a chance to talk to them, and that makes all the difference in the world.”

Eight students, one each from grades first through eighth at the Christian school were selected to display their artworks at the Student Art Exhibition, or SAE. Sponsored by Hubbell Homes, the program aims to give students in grades K-12 a chance to display their work on one of the Des Moines metro area’s biggest stages for the arts. The eight students who were selected from Newton Christian School will be recognized at a Visionary Artist Ceremony, which begins at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Although the Des Moines Art Festival only runs through this weekend, the works will remain on display over the summer at the Des Moines Central Library, where students will be honored again at 6 p.m. Aug. 30. They’ll each receive a medallion, as well as a household membership to the Des Moines Art Center.

While most visitors may be getting their first look at the work done by students at Newton Christian, anyone who’s visited the school’s campus on the northeast side of Newton has already had the chance to see much of the work students have already completed. For years, Davis has adorned the walls of the school with artwork created by her students. She’s always looking for ways to celebrate the work her students are doing.

“There’s a lot of hallways, the principal allows me to put the art up throughout the school,” Davis said. “The school’s alive with art.”

Throughout the year, Davis, along with other staff members at the school, sort through work done by students to look for submissions that stand out from the crowd. The Des Moines Art Festival isn’t the only festival where Davis submits student work. She tries to make sure every student who’s interested in participating has a chance to showcase their work.

“I have a few I keep my eye on every year,” Davis said. ”I try to rotate them to give kids a chance to get their art out in the community.”

Mary Patterson, the school’s principal, credited Davis for her tireless enthusiasm in promoting the work of students at Newton Christian.

“She’s all about getting the kids out, she’s got art everywhere that they’ve done,” Patterson said.

For Davis, the festival is one of her yearly highlights, she’s a regular attendee, and she constantly encourages students to attend the event. Every year she’s visited the art festival she’s come back to Newton energized, with new ideas to share with her students. She’s hoping students will get the same feeling of excitement as they check out the works on display and have a chance to connect and communicate with artists from around the country.

“I just love the chance for the kids to get their art out in the community. When they go to the art festival they’re exposed to all kinds of genres of art, and art from around the country,” Davis said. “I think it’s a great experience for them culturally, to experience art beyond the four walls of the art room.”

Contact David Dolmage at 641-792-3121 ext. 6532 or

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