There isn’t anything Gerald Kim would rather do than his art.
And for good reason. The first-grader at Angell Elementary School was recently chosen as one of 15 elementary-aged students in the state whose work will be featured in exhibits sponsored by the Michigan Art Education Association.
His work was first chosen for the Region 3 exhibit, which includes Ann Arbor. Then his work was chosen for the state-level exhibit, which will take place June 1-25 at the Kendall School of Art and Design in Grand Rapids. His work also will be shown at the MAEA Conference in the fall in Dearborn, according to the MAEA.
The 6-year-old shows a fierce concentration as he works with oil pastels, choosing his colors carefully and blending and softening the look of the work with his fingers in the way that Angell art teacher Linda Babich taught him.
It’s no wonder that when asked what his favorite class is, Gerald said it is “art” (with gym a close second.) He not only enjoys art class at school, he said, but also spends time at home creating his artwork, mostly with pencils and paint, he said.
He couldn’t pick one color as his favorite, but his work seems to trend toward blues and purples. As he worked on a new masterpiece, he shared his vision of water and sky.
“They said it’s fantastic,” Gerald said his family exclaimed when learning of his honor. The Kims live in the Angell Elementary district and are from Korea. Gerald has a younger, 4-year-old brother.
“I was really pleased when Gerald’s piece was selected. And to be a first-grader, that’s really something,” said Babich, who teaches art to all elementary levels at Angell. She said many of her colleagues were surprised to learn that the winning work was done by a first-grader.
She said although the honor is unique for a first-grader, often early elementary students are more pliable and open in their approach to doing art.
Babich said Gerald’s mom is extremely proud of his accomplishment. “She said ‘I knew he had a talent,’ but when she saw it, she was just thrilled,” Babich said. “This is something he’ll remember for a long time.”
His mom, SooAh Kim, said he was “honored and excited to be chosen.”
“He’s not interested in making something – he really likes to play with color,” she said. These days, Gerald enjoys the colors gold, silver and bronze “because of the Winter Olympics,” his mother said. “He’s always running here and there, up and down. He loves sports.”
She said Gerald has shown an interest in summer Creativity Camp at The Ann Arbor Art Center, possibly taking a class in drawing and painting or studying the art masters such as Monet.
(Editor’s note: The district received special parental permission to write about this student and his achievement.)
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