Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

From Faribault students: Simply art February 27, 2019

Henry Johnson of Nerstrand Charter School created this vivid work of art for the Student Art Exhibit at the Paradise Center for the Arts in Faribault during a past art show. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


ART, WHETHER VISUAL, literary or performing, enriches our lives.

Art helps us view the world from creative and differing perspectives. It jumpstarts thoughts and conversations, broadens our world, enhances our lives with beauty, causes us to pause and consider. Art stimulates change, builds bridges, enlightens and much more.

We need art. From early on. It’s just as important as math, science, technology…


Art from a past exhibit. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


Give children crayons to scribble, wooden spoons to beat a rhythm upon kettles, books to read or simply turn the pages.

Let them dance. Let them write stories. Let them splash in puddles. Let them create art with chalk and fingerpaints and markers.

Delight in their creativity. Encourage it. Embrace it. Appreciate it. For art holds great value.


The art exhibit threads along hallways, into corners and into a room on the second floor of the Paradise. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo from a past show.


My community values the creativity of young artists. This Friday, March 1, one of my favorite annual local shows, the Faribault Area Student Art Exhibit, opens at the Paradise Center for the Arts in historic downtown Faribault. Student art will line second floor hallways and fill the second floor gallery.


Woven art created by students from the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind for the 2017 art exhibit. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2017.


The student art always impresses me. The simple. The detailed. The colorful. The color-less. The texture, the patterns, the shapes.


Roosevelt Elementary fifth grader Jose painted this portrait for a previous student art exhibit. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


Each artist holds within himself or herself the ability to express creativity. Certainly, some students are more gifted in art than others. But that matters not in this art show. There are no ribbons, no awards, no rankings or ratings. There’s art. Simply art.


Bold, vivid art by students from Divine Mercy Catholic School for a previous exhibit. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


For young people to have this opportunity within my community to publicly show their art pleases me. We are telling them we value their creativity. We are teaching them the value of art. And that is a good thing in a world that needs art now more than ever.


TELL ME: What are your thoughts on the value of art?

FYI: An opening reception for the student artists is set for 5 – 7 p.m. March 1. The exhibit runs through April 6.

© Copyright 2019 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


14 Responses to “From Faribault students: Simply art”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    What a great exhibit of art. Not only does it highlight the art of the young it makes people happy just by looking at it. I know it made me happy just seeing your pictures. Hope the show is a huge success for the students and the community.

  2. Brenda Says:

    My thoughts on art– you stated them perfectly! One of the best parts about the show is getting parents, grandparents and friends to come and see the kids works of art and appreciate their work. I look forward to pictures of the next art show!

  3. Important for the mind and for the soul.

  4. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson Says:

    I absolutely agree with you that art is as important as science, math, reading, etc. In fact, all of those things go into making art; art can be a culmination of everything else one is learning. It is the conversation had with society about this life, this planet, this time in history. Artists (visual and word) take what is given them, what is in front of them, and reinterpret it all to offer deeper, richer experiences and understanding – which is pretty much what you’ve already said in your own words. 🙂 Yes, yes, yes, we need artists. Every single day. So glad Faribault has this annual exhibit of student work! As the mother of a visual artist, I’ve seen how art changes lives both in its making and its sharing.

  5. Art is key for developing, experimenting, exploring . . . it helps with imagination, creativity, expression . . . for some it becomes their lives work and for some it is an outlet from that box or 9 to 5 or whatever. I have fond memories of playing, coloring and most of all reading. I have been interested in photography since around age 9 and took up my first camera at 12 or 13. I know as a child art was fun and a break from math, science and history. There is just something about art that we all can relate and connect to, like a universal language of sorts. Great Post – Loving the Art 🙂 Happy Day – Enjoy!

  6. Wonderful exhibit! Some talented kids.

  7. Bella Says:

    Loved your visual tour of student art exhibit. Your community support of displaying student art is such a positive reinforcement, There is something about art displays that brings back memories too of ones we made in school and eagerly shared.The popularity of adult coloring books rather confirms that.love of drawing and coloring never goes quite goes away.I know some who even put their creations on Facebook..

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