Ocean Springs student's dream classroom design wins grand prize

By Trang Pham-Bui – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) – It's amazing what children can come up with if you give them some crayons and urge them to use their imagination.

In October, art teacher Brad Allen encouraged every student at Taconi Elementary School in Ocean Springs to take part in an international RoseArt contest. Their assignment was to design their dream classroom.

"I told them to really use their brains and be really creative and think of something different that maybe other students haven't thought of," Allen said.

The entries were narrowed down to nine.  The Taconi fifth graders competed with 40 students across the United States and Canada.  About two weeks ago, Taconi learned that four of those entries won second place.

The school also has a grand prize winner. Camille Blankenship captured the top award in the 3rd-through-5th grade category.

"My class said I was jumping up and down and I was red," said Camille Blankenship. "I was so excited and overwhelmed. I was surprised too."

Camille's artwork features a green garden theme.  Basically, she brought the outdoors into the classroom.

"The door we have, it's covered with leaves and there's a spider web.   The chair was like a leaf.  For the desk, it was flowers, a mushroom, and we also had some animals," described Camille.

"We're also trying to incorporate the nature where any kid, the most restless student can come inside and just relax," she added.

"When they win, it's jut a great sense of pride for them," said Allen.  "Hopefully, it's going to be a sparking point for them to continue to do art, enter these contests, get their name out there, and be seen as an artist in Ocean Springs."

For her creativity, Camille won $1,700 worth of RoseArt art supplies for her homeroom.  Her share is $500 in art items, but she doesn't plan to keep them all.

"So I'm going to give some to St. John's Preschool maybe and some to charities and give it to them because it's impossible for me to spend $500 on art supplies. I don't have the storage anyways," said Camille.

The second place winners will each receive a basket full of RoseArt supplies valued at $150.  All five winning artwork will be on display in the front office at Taconi Elementary and at www.RoseArt.com.

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