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A fresh look for art park

One of the new pieces of artwork in Depot Way Art Park is "Peacock," was created by Caitlyn Coillier.

Every year, the Farmington School District celebrates the work of its students during an all-school art festival. Last Saturday, a handful of those students and their artwork were further honored.

Over the weekend, the Dakota Valley Arts Council introduced 12 young artists, all of whom had artwork at this year's art festival. The artwork showed by those students is now part of the artwork featured in Farmington's Depot Way Art Park.

Nine of the 12 new pieces were unveiled during a ceremony Saturday afternoon. About 40 people, including all 12 students who were being honored, were in attendance. The remaining three pieces still need to be posted, but that will happen quite soon, according to DVAC member Beve Preece.

Dakota Valley Arts Council members like to select pieces of student work to celebrate the talent of Farmington's youth.

"We usually replace (older student artwork pieces) every three years," Preece said. "And it's usually not as many as this year. We had to pick more this year because of our older pieces were damaged."

Vandalism has been a frequent problem at the art park. Vandals try their own hands at painting, but it often comes by way of spray painted markings on the existing artwork. Still, DVAC members are determined to keep the Depot Way Arts Park a nice, enjoyable place for the community to view local artwork done by local artists.

"A lot of it is, we look at it and see what people would look at and appreciate when they walk through the park. And it's amazing how many people walk through this park, which is what it's all about," Preece said.

Students whose artwork has been included and the type of picture they provided include Elephant by Paige Hansen; Peacock by Caitlyn Coillier; Cut flowers in reflection by Elise Evans; Butterfly by Chloe Pratt; Ladybug by Vaughan Johnson; A bug by Megan McMillan; Bird in the tree by Gina Baertsch; Landscape by Callie Halterman; Leaves by Garrett Zimmel; Tiles by Alexis Johnson; and Penguins by Nicholas Edminston.

The artwork represents a cross-section of Farmington's student body. Some pieces were done by first- and second grade students, while other pieces were done by high school students.

"The artwork sort of depends on the age of the student," Preece said.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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