Student Art on Display in State Capitol

JACKSON, MISS. – March 11, 2019 – Select artwork from schools affiliated with the Mississippi Arts Commission’s Whole School Initiative is currently on display at the State Capitol in the Education Conference Room. At the request of House Education Committee Chairman Richard Bennett, a temporary exhibition of student artwork from WSI schools was installed in the conference room.

The exhibition includes the following schools and student artwork:

Ann Smith Elementary  –  School Bus by Jana Alareqi, Kindergarten

Casey Elementary  –  C for Cat by Tatyiuna Williamson, 4th grade

Cook Elementary  –  Grand Ole Flag by Victoria Valdez-Carranza 2nd grade

King Early Childhood Education Center  –  Cityscape by Alivia Voyles, Pre-K

Lawndale Elementary  –  Abstracted Portraits by Baylee Russell, 4th grade

Longleaf Elementary  –  Cave Drawings by Isabella Wilson, 3rd grade

Nora Davis  –  Flowers in a Vase by Ella B, Fincher T, Lucy R, Kindergarten

Oakland Heights  –  Strong Oak by Luke Griffith, 1st grade

Parkway Elementary  –  Chinese Dragon Mask by Angel Martinez, 2nd grade

Poplar Springs  –  Sunflower Rose by Khloe Parker, Kindergarten

Rankin Elementary  –  Self Portrait by Makira Wraggs, 3rd grade

Saltillo Elementary  –  Miro’s Mixed Media by Lynnon Darsey, 3rd grade

St. Anthony Catholic School  –  Badger Totem by Eliza Rowlett

St Richard Catholic School  –  Picasso Pumpkins by John Choufani, Kindergarten

Tupelo Middle School  –  Batik Fasll Abstract Tree by Aubriona Lowery, 7th grade

“The arts are a powerful educational tool, and this artwork will serve as a source of inspiration to lawmakers as we work towards improving education for all Mississippi students,” said Rep. Richard Bennett. “We thank the Mississippi Arts Commission for the important work they do in arts education and for their partnership on this project.”

The 15 works included in the exhibition were selected from the more than 200 works of art included in the Magnificent Masterpieces Student Art Show, which was displayed at the Mississippi Arts Center from Dec. 15, 2018 to Jan. 18, 2019. All art work included in Magnificent Masterpieces from WSI-affiliated schools is the result of a lesson or unit of study that began in the general classroom and is connected to the school’s education curriculum.

“We are proud of the excellent work these students create as part of the learning process,” said Malcolm White, MAC executive director. “The presence of these artworks in our State Capitol reinforces and encourages a statewide commitment to arts education. We thank Representative Bennett for his vision and interest in deepening student achievement through the arts.”

MAC’s Whole Schools Initiative is Mississippi’s first comprehensive, statewide arts education program that uses the arts as a vehicle for promoting high-quality instruction and learning for students in all disciplines. Effective implementation of arts integration makes a significant contribution to improved educational outcomes for Mississippi students. Extensive research has found a consistent link between arts integration and a range of positive outcomes: increased academic achievement, improved critical thinking skills, enhanced creative thinking, increased parental involvement, improved teacher morale, and a reduction in the achievement gap for economically disadvantaged students.

To learn more about the Whole Schools Initiative, please contact Charlotte Smelser at (601) 359-6037 or

Contact:  Anna Ehrgott | Communications Director | | (601) 359-6546