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Arting early

by JOEL MARTIN
Staff Writer | February 15, 2023 1:30 AM

MOSES LAKE — More than 250 budding artists got to see their work on display and show it off to the community Saturday at the Moses Lake Museum & Art Center.

“Oh, everyone has been so excited,” said Colleen Seto, the preschool instructor at the museum. “The preschool teachers showed up; the children have been able to show off their art, their friends’ art.”

The occasion was the reception for the second annual Preschool Art Show, which is done in cooperation with the Moses Lake School District and features the artworks of preschoolers from all over the district.

The exhibit, which runs through March 18, actually opened on Feb. 3; Seto hung all the pieces herself in the museum’s Ramon Cerna Community Gallery. The reception Saturday was an opportunity to bring all the artists and parents together to enjoy the display, with child-friendly refreshments served.

The artworks were grouped by class. Each class started with a theme – this being February, hearts were a popular one – and the students let their creativity flow from there. During the reception, students and their families wandered around the exhibit and looked at their own art and those of their friends and classmates. In addition, it gave the families a chance to explore the museum.

“The event is really mutually beneficial for the museum and for the community,” said museum staffer Jamie Nixon. “Because the kids come in, they get to see their own art on the wall, which I think is beneficial for them to see themselves as artists. Then also, some families may have not even realized we have a museum here, or what-all is involved. And so they are able to look at all the art, go enjoy the kids’ area and see that there's a lot of other programs that are for families and kids. And so they learn about the museum.”

The Moses Lake Museum & Art Center hosts a number of family-friendly programs, including story times, Free Family Saturday craft times and creative labs to let children dip their toes in the creative arts. The youngsters whose painted handprints and cut-out hearts adorn the walls today may be the grownup painters of tomorrow, Nixon said.

“When they see themselves like ‘Oh, I'm an artist,’ it gives them (the idea), ‘I can be an artist with an exhibit out here in the main gallery someday,’” Nixon said.

Joel Martin can be reached via email at jmartin@columbiabasinherald.com.

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JOEL MARTIN/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Museum staffers Colleen Seto, left, and Jamie Nixon lay out child-friendly refreshments for the Preschool Art Show reception Saturday.

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JOEL MARTIN/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Three-year-old Dayton DeLange and his parents Wayne and Joleen DeLange stand in front of Dayton’s artwork at the Preschool Art Show reception Saturday.

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JOEL MARTIN/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Each preschool class in the Preschool Art Show at the Moses Lake Museum had a different theme. Many classes used the students’ handprints as a starting point for their creativity.

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JOEL MARTIN/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Loads of preschoolers and their families and friends came out to look at the student artwork at the Moses Lake Museum & Art Center Preschool Art Show reception Saturday.