El Paso first-grader’s ‘peace and love’ flag design wins statewide art contest

An El Paso’s first grader’s drawing representing peace and love took the top prize in a statewide flag design contest. 

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Amariah Adame was named the state winner for the elementary school category in the Texas Art Education Association‘s Youth Art Month contest.

“I was thinking of a peace sign,” she said. “It makes people come together.”

The 6-year-old, who attends Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco Elementary School in Socorro ISD, was one of three winners in the statewide contest, which judged entries in elementary, middle and high school categories. 

graphical user interface, website: Carrasco Elementary first-grader Amariah Adame won a statewide art contest for her flag design representing "peace and love" in January 2021.

© Courtesy of Socorro Independent School District
Carrasco Elementary first-grader Amariah Adame won a statewide art contest for her flag design representing “peace and love” in January 2021.

This is the first time in more than 10 years that an SISD student’s flag design has won the contest, the release states.

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March is National Youth Art Month and each year, one winner is selected by TAEA to represent Texas at National Art Education Association events. Students in public or private schools in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade may participate in the flag design contest.

The TAEA sponsors programs celebrating student artwork through March, such as the flag design contest, a 100-piece exhibit of student artwork at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum and the Lower Rotunda of the State Capitol Building in Austin and other events.

Amariah’s parents have encouraged her to participate in other art contests, helping her plan out how to put her ideas on paper. At home, her father teaches her how to draw, said her mother Cynthia, school nurse at Carrasco Elementary.

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“She loves to draw and color and her daddy is actually a pretty good artist himself, so I think she feels inspired, she’ll want to draw something and he will guide her on how to go about doing that, just trying to teach her,” Cynthia Adame said. 

“I love to draw with daddy,” Amariah Adame added.

Adame has participated in a Christmas card drawing contest and a Pop Art contest, where her preference for bright colors shone through. 

Carrasco Elementary School art teacher Claudia Cardenas calls all of her young students artists-in-training, and this school year, her entire class made flag designs for the contest via remote learning. Cardenas submitted Adame’s design because the art instructor was drawn to the use of color.

“I thought it had to be red, white and blue, but then I saw Amariah’s and thought this is so colorful and so beautiful, I love this,” Carrasco said. 

 Adame was surprised by her mother, the district fine arts department, the school’s mascot and employees with the news that she won earlier in January and was awarded with a certificate, balloons and an art kit.

“It was amazing because all of us came together to congratulate her, obviously we were safely distanced and wearing masks but it was beautiful,” Carrasco said, adding she was hoping to send some art instruction books to Adame to help her hone her skills.

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Amariah Adame's flag design was the elementary level winner in the Texas Art Education Association's Youth Art Month statewide contest in 2021.

© Photo courtesy of Socorro Independent School District.
Amariah Adame’s flag design was the elementary level winner in the Texas Art Education Association’s Youth Art Month statewide contest in 2021.

Adame’s work will be displayed at the national level if she is chosen to represent Texas over the winners in the middle and high school categories at the National Art Education Association Youth Art Month contest. 

The Texas representative’s work is incorporated into a flag for display at the Youth Art Month Museum at the NAEA annual national convention.

“We are so proud of (Amariah) for representing herself and the district, with her flag which represents unity and love,” Armando Martinez, SISD Fine Arts director, said in a news release. 

“During these unprecedented times there are a lot of things that are limited as far as congregating, so, we are blessed that right now that we had the opportunity to enter many different contests that have gone virtual. That way, we do not take away opportunities from students to be able to express themselves.”

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Cristina Carreon may be reached at [email protected] and @Cris_carreon90 on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on El Paso Times: El Paso first-grader’s ‘peace and love’ flag design wins statewide art contest

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