Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Connected: The award-winning art of a preteen December 22, 2021

Art supplies photographed during a Studio ARTour. (Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.)

WE ARE ALL CONNECTED. Those words theme the 2021-2022 Lion’s International Peace Poster Contest. And I simply must share a winning entry created by a 12-year-old from Rochester. Audrey, granddaughter of my friend Jackie, won the contest at her Minnesota middle school and then earned honorable mention at the district level.

It’s well-deserved recognition. As you will see on Jackie’s “Who Will Make Me Laugh” blog (click here), Audrey drew flags from assorted countries along the outer edges of a heart, then created a group of children from many ethnicities to front that heart.

Audrey’s art is detailed, following that theme of connection. Linked hands. Friendly waves. Smiles. Hearts. A rainbow. Plenty of peace symbols. All connect to create an overwhelmingly positive message of togetherness.

I needed to see the work of this young artist at a time when I observe more division than connection in our world. This gives me hope. Our youth have always been our hope for the future.

The bracelet Audrey crafted for me in 2013. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo 2013)

I met Audrey back in 2013, at the same time I met Jackie. During that visit, Audrey gifted me with a handcrafted stone and bead bracelet in my favorite hues of green and purple. Jackie has often shared that Audrey possesses a loving and giving spirit. I saw that then. And I see it now.

The thought this preteen put into designing her peace poster shows. I love how kids today are growing up in a diverse world. A world brimming with possibilities. Opportunities. Creativity.

Whenever I meet another creative, I feel a connection. Jackie and I originally connected via our shared love of photography. A nurse by profession, Jackie is kind, compassionate and caring, and a gifted photographer. We also share commonalities of faith, of country churches, old barns, drives in the country, etc. We are connected.

And now Audrey is following her grandma’s (and Uncle Brice’s) creative paths. Her current work-in-progress is writing a book. Given my love of writing, I now have that additional connection (other than shared first names) to Audrey.

And while I await news of that book, I’d love to see Audrey’s winning artwork in print, on a t-shirt… I love it that much.

Please stop by Jackie’s blog to view Audrey’s art and to encourage this young artist. And, while you’re there, scroll through Jackie’s photo rich posts.

© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


8 Responses to “Connected: The award-winning art of a preteen”

  1. I am with you in that I needed to see this and a GREAT reminder that we ALL are CONNECTED (or have similar interests) 🙂 This past weekend I started up a conversation with a perfect stranger (my family and friends just love me for this and sometimes I have a magnet where people are just drawn to me too). The person I was with made a judgement (not openly) and then got involved in the conversation because they found the person interesting and found stuff in common. It just comes down to a kindness and opening yourself up a bit and YOU NEVER KNOW WHO YOU WILL MEET AND CONNECT WITH! I am so blessed to have connected with you and your world that you share with your readers. I have met and continue to meet people within the blogging community as well as I go about living my life each and every day. Thanks for Sharing – Happy Day – Enjoy!

    • Oh, Renee, thank you for your sweet words about connecting via my blog. I feel the same. I’ve connected with multiple bloggers, who have then become in-person friends. I never expected that when I started this blog. What a blessing.

      It doesn’t surprise me that you easily strike up conversations with strangers. You obviously care a lot about others and that shines in your comments here. Thank you for being such a kind, caring and compassionate person.

  2. Bernadette Arlene Thomasy Says:

    A proud grandma is a great motivator. So glad she shared Audrey’s artistic work; it deserves the recognition Audrey received. I love all the details, captured at such a young age. Grandma’s blog also looks fun.

  3. Oh sweet friend! Thank you for “showcasing” Audrey’s artwork. I will be showing her your post, I can see her smile as she reads through it. You are a dear friend….I KNEW you would like her work for sure.

  4. Valerie Says:

    Such an encouraging post about a young artist’s work…Thanks for sharing!

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