Menifee mayor awards young artists in Quail Valley Elementary

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Mayor Bill Zimmerman and his wife Julie Zimmerman tour the halls of Menifee’s Quail Valley Elementary, examining every art piece. Valley News/Courtesy photo

MENIFEE – Students at Quail Valley Elementary School received a visit from Mayor Bill Zimmerman and his wife Julie Zimmerman. The two special guests were present to check out student artwork and select winners for the school’s Mayor’s Choice Awards.

Throughout October, and in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, students at Quail Valley Elementary participated in various art projects. Students specifically studied and duplicated art styles featuring Hispanic artists.

“The artwork is a fantastic blend of visual arts and history,” Sarah Ragusa, Ed. D., assistant superintendent of educational services at Menifee Union School District, said. “The students have done an amazing job. It is obvious that every brush stroke, marking and composition was carefully taught and beautifully executed.”

With the leadership and support of Principal Lily Peña and teacher Lesley Stevens each grade level studied a different artist, art style and country. Kindergarten studied animals and the geography of El Salvador. They created watercolor toucans. First graders learned about famous Cuban-Americans as well as the geography and animals of Cuba. They painted a flamingo. Second graders learned about famous Mexican-Americans and studied the traditions and customs of Mexico. In particular, they learned about Dia de los Muertos. They created construction paper sugar skull designs. Third graders learned about the geography and animals of the rainforest of Panama. They designed a drawing of a sloth habitat. Fourth graders studied folk art of Puerto Rico including Vejigante masks, which have been worn in Puerto Rico Carnival festivals for hundreds of years. Fourth graders also learned about the coqui frog, which is the unofficial national symbol of Puerto Rico. The coqui frog is often depicted in Puerto Rican street art in many large cities. Fifth graders studied contemporary artist Okuda San Miguel whose geometric art designs and sculptures can be seen all over the world. Fifth graders used watercolors to create geometric animals representing his style of modern art.

There were two winners in every grade level and two overall “best in show” winners: kindergartener Spencer Schuldt and fifth grader Emily Vazquez.

The list of winners included transitional kindergarten and kindergarten students Tallulah Danielle and Cesario Diaz, first grade students Brooklyn Stowell and Victoria Chu, second grade students Alexa Higareda and Anabelle Tafoya, third graders Yuri Leon and Emely Hernandez, fourth grade students Amber Guerrero and Addy Bahena and fifth grader Angeline Miramontes.

“I really enjoyed seeing the pride and excitement on each student’s face when we praised them for their artistic talent,” Zimmerman said.

Submitted by the Menifee Union School District.