2011 My Wustum Story – 1st Place

-by Mary Kaprelian

Your advertisement in the 'Livin it Up in Downtown Racine' quarterly supplement to the Journal Times on September 4 stirred a memory and produced a photograph of me and my family when I was a youngster at Roosevelt Elementary School.

I always loved art and we had a classroom competition to illustrate the bull in the story, "The Blue Bull." I didn't win the class votes, but my painting was submitted by my teacher to Wustum Museum to be matted and hung alongside additional young elementary artists.

My entire family came to view the show and we happened to be caught by a newspaper photographer (attached). I remembered well the dresses (pink) and the black patent Mary-Janes that my sister and I wore. My mother made the matching dresses and we wore them with green socks (a faux pas compared to today's fashionistas). Nonetheless, it was a momentous occasion.

Years later I resurrected the clipping, laminated it, and kept it for posterity. What's ironic is the family pictured to the left turned out to become our best friends: the Radwills have deep roots in this community, and Scott married Kathleen Broshot, my dearest friend. The other family produced Joe Vallner, a future classmate. I treasure this town, the public school system, and the kudos Wustum has given to emerging artists like me. While I've traversed many roads in my life, I've ended up in education, teaching exceptional skills to children with disabilities. Artistic endeavors continue to thrill me with my little ones' views, interpretations, productions, and depictions of the world around them using crayons, markers, paints, craypas, pencils, and clay. Art is a paramount indication of a child's animation, imagination, mood, and concept of life.

Thank you, Wustum Museum, for making me a little star early in my life, an encouragement that has rooted itself in who I am, what I do, and how much I enjoy aesthetics in all that I see!