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Children's art contest really just for the birds

Things are always hopping at Anita's ArtsCool in Buford, with classes for all ages in many different media. This month, something really unique is in the works: A special art contest for kids complete with prizes. The only stipulation is that the artwork must depict either chickens or penguins.

This special contest is a joint venture between ArtsCool and Suwanee's Studio 8 Gallery. The winners will be announced at a reception and exhibition opening titled "Messages" at Studio B from 6 to

9 p.m. Sept. 26.

The contest started as a way to both support the arts and honor the mother of Studio 8 Gallery owner Anna Banguilan. The Suwanee gallery, as host of the exhibition and reception for the contest, will be the other party in this joint effort to encourage and reward young artists. Chickens were dear to Banguilan's mother, and penguins are the mascot for Anita's ArtsCool. Hence the inspiration for "poultry art."

Students in grades one through 12 are eligible to participate. Homeschoolers are welcomed. Artwork can consist of a drawing, painting or sculpture. There can only be one entry per person, and the dimensions of the artwork can not be larger than 24 inches for any dimension.

The deadline to submit artwork is Sept. 18. Anita's ArtsCool will be open from 1 to 6 p.m. that day to accept the entries. The ArtsCool is located in Buford at 179 Moreno St., Suite D.

There will be an award handed out to one elementary, one middle school and one high school young artist. The award consists of $100 scholarship to Anita's ArtsCool.

The artwork submitted along with other special artwork will be on view at the eventSept. 26 at Studio B, which is located in Suwanee at 355 Brogdon Road, Suite 201.

The "Messages" event will take place from 6 to

9 p.m. Attendees will enjoy a host of entertainment such as performance art, poetry reading, floating artwork, a computer animation demo, wool being spun into yarn and special music by Reklein.

The children's artwork will be on view along with artwork by ArtsCool teachers and faculty. Artists showing their work will be Anita Stewart, Anna Banguilan, Jesika James, Jean Plumer, Whitney Calhoun, Mavis Stevens, Garry Lewis, Elaine Childs and Rosemary Benavides Williams. There will also be a special Art Wall for children to decorate.

Best of all, the winners will be announced at the reception. Artwork will be on display at Studio B through the end of November.

Art classes are ongoing at Anita's ArtsCool, and a few are just beginning. For example, a class titled "Craziness" begins Saturday. This class for ages 7 to 12 meets from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Teacher Elaine Childs works with young artists as they improve their drawing skills using perspective, shading and placement of figures. Using a wide range of art materials they will "draw with paint," "do scratch art" and render body shapes and facial expressions. The class is $80 per month which includes supplies.

HomeSchool Art is also starting today. This class is for children ages 6 to 12 and includes instruction in drawing, painting and sculpture. For information on this and all ArtsCool classes and the art contest, go to www.anitasartscool.com or call 678-230-4937.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts.

E-mail her at calmes@mindspring.com.