For Burris Laboratory School senior MyKel Ivy, creating art makes her feel amazing. 

“It’s kind of weird to see how you start with a blank canvas, and then you finish it, and you just have this wonderful piece,” Ivy said. “It just makes me feel really special.”

Ivy had the opportunity to share her art with Delaware County community members in the Young Artist Exhibition, hers hanging among 170 other pieces of 2D and 3D artwork in Cornerstone Center for The Arts

For more information about the event, contact Sarah Shaffer, education and marketing coordinator at Cornerstone Center for the Arts via email at sshaffer@cornerstone.org. 

Each year, young artists, grades K-12 from 16 Delaware County schools and home schools, submit their artwork in a competition to potentially have it displayed at the exhibition, where students have the ability to connect with other artists and families. 

“The Young Artist Exhibition provides a unique opportunity for children to be highlighted as artists, often for the first time in their lives,” said Jessie Fisher, the education director for Cornerstone. “It gives them the confidence to continue creating art, and they will remember the experience for a lifetime.” 

Lili Stokes, an art teacher at Burris, said the exhibition is important because it showcases the talents of students around Muncie. 

“When [the students] get recognition, it makes them feel very proud,” Stokes said. “I just think it’s important for students to look at other work as well and see what’s comparable to their own skills.”

For the exhibition, Ivy created a painting of a stoplight because she said she was inspired by the inventor, Garett Agustus Morgan.

“I had a lot of ideas for great people in history, and people who are changing the world,” Ivy said. “I just don’t think people know he is the one who invented the stoplight, so I thought it would be cool to show people that, but not by just saying it.”

While creating her artwork, Ivy said it was difficult for her because she was “on a bit of a time crunch,” but it became easier because she already had the idea in her mind of what she wanted to create. 

“[My favorite part of creating art] is honestly being messy because it’s something I think people are afraid to do,”  Ivy said. “I like it when I’m cleaning up and I see I have paint all over my hands and I’m trying to avoid getting it on my clothes. It's just the fun of it.”

For her artwork, Ivy won second place in her division. Each recipient category is divided by age. 

“When I was named a winner, I was just really proud of myself,” Ivy said.  “I’ve always been really self-conscious of my art, and I wasn’t going to enter the competition, but my teacher just really encouraged me to.” 

Students and families browsed the the art entered into the Cornerstone Center for the Arts Young Artist Exhibition March 14, 2019. The winners for each category were selected that evening. Jessie Fisher, Photo provided.


At the exhibition, the awarded artwork is chosen by a board of judges who are committed to giving back to the community and supporting young artists in their creative aspirations. 

Ball State associate professor of art education Mike Prater was one of six judges this year, along with Betty Brewer, the president and CEO of Minnetrista and Barbara Kunts, a retired arts educator. 

“[Judging young students' work] is great,” Prater said. “Cornerstone is great to work with, and I am always so impressed with the dedication of the art teachers and the art students.

“[Being a judge can be difficult] because all of the students really do have different styles.”

East Washington Academy fourth grader Jack Bouse also submitted his artwork into the exhibition and won an honorable mention. 

“My grandpa loved to paint, and he had some extra canvases, so he thought we could paint too,” Bouse said. 

Bouse’s mom, Stacy Bouse, said it was Jack’s idea to enter the contest.

“I want him to be proud of the things he creates,” Stacy Bouse said. “He’s been interested in art since early elementary school. I was just proud he wanted to do it.”

Ivy, Bouse and the other winners received cash prizes from Prime Trust, a certificate with their name and placement in their category, and a gift certificate to Art Mart. The gallery, open throughout April, will honor recipients who were selected as winners in each age category.

After the gallery, Ivy said she plans to continue pursuing a career in art at Ball State after she graduates. 

“I just think that being a part of the art world at a younger age is a good basis for me,” Ivy said. “I want to be an animator and work for a big company, so I feel like gaining confidence in my art now, since art is such a competitive field, it will help me feel more confident in my skills so I can fight for a position more in my future.” 

Contact Emma Legg with comments at ellegg@bsu.edu