Children's art is on display at the center of Craig during last year's Cherish the Little Things children's art show. This year's show features two new aspects, children's workshops and a community art piece.

Photo by Joe Moylan

Children's art is on display at the center of Craig during last year's Cherish the Little Things children's art show. This year's show features two new aspects, children's workshops and a community art piece.

Connections 4 Kids prepares for Cherish the Little Things children's art show

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Connections 4 Kids in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties is gearing up for its second annual Cherish the Little Things children’s art show in February.

The show runs 3-6 p.m. February 7; 2-6 p.m. February 8; and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. February 9, including during the annual ArtWalk in downtown Craig from 5-8 p.m. at The Center of Craig, 601 Yampa Ave.

The show features more than 300 pieces of artwork from Moffat County children in preschool through high school.

Twenty finalists will be chosen out of entries from kids in preschool through fifth grade. Community members may vote for their favorite pieces by way of monetary donations. The top vote getter will be featured on the cover of the 2013-2014 Connections 4 Kids calendar. The next top 12 vote getters will be featured on their own month while the seven runner-ups will be featured in a tiled display.

Caitlin Running, 11, said she was really excited when she won first place at the show last year.

"My favorite part was to see all the people liking my art," Running said. To all the kids entered this year, Running said she hopes they do really well.

As the organization’s main fundraiser, program director Michelle Balleck said she hopes to raise more than the $8,000 they did last year.

“We’re hoping to grow it this year and continue to do lots of good work for kids,” Balleck said.

Aside from donations to vote, prints of the 20 finalist art pieces will be available for $25 each. Ornaments that double as tabletop art featuring miniature versions of 2012 and 2013 finalist’s art on miniature easels also will be available for $10.

As well as art for sale, sponsorship opportunities are available at the $350 and $150 levels.

Proceeds will be used for four areas of focus within the Connections 4 Kids organization: health; early learning; social, emotional and mental health; and family support and parent education.

The event features a couple new elements this year, including free art workshops for local kids and a community art piece.

Balleck said the organization wanted to do the workshops last year but it never came to fruition.

“We want to give children an opportunity to experience art outside of the classroom and provide opportunities with community volunteers to grow their love and appreciation of art,” Balleck said.

The workshop February 7 will feature ceramic bowl painting. Class for eight to 11 year-olds will be from 3:45-4:45 p.m., class for 12-18 year-olds from 5-6 p.m.

The February 8 workshop will feature mask decorating. Class for four to seven year olds will be from 3:45-4:45 p.m., class for eight to 11 year olds 5-6 p.m.

The February 9 workshop will feature clay models. Class for four to seven year olds will be from 10:30-11:15 a.m., eight to 11 year olds 11:30-12:15 p.m. and 12-18 year olds 1-2 p.m.

The printmaking workshop will also be February 9 for 12-18 year olds from 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Community volunteers Thom Schnellinger, David Morris and Andrea Peroutka will lead the workshops. Balleck said she is looking to find one more volunteer to teach a workshop.

Children may sign up for one art workshop each and an adult must accompany children under 11.

Registration is limited to the first 15 children per session.

The other new element this year, the community art project will allow every art show guest to contribute to it, resulting in what Balleck said she hopes will be a one of a kind unique piece by the end of the show.

Balleck said she encouraged the community to come out and support the kids and art.

“It’s a really neat event and I think it helps the community to understand the importance of art. Not only in our schools but in our children’s lives in general,” Balleck said. “It’s really neat to see and to honor the children and their hard work and give them something to be proud of.”

For more information, to sponsor the show or enroll a child in a workshop call Michelle Balleck at (970) 824-8282 ext. 47.

Darian Warden can be reached at 875-1793 or dwarden@craigdailypress.com

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