Young Creatives Shine

Students excel at Arizona State Fair Art Competition.

In the halls of Creighton School District, two young artists, Tigireda Kibrom and Arlyn Aguilar Hernandez, are redefining what it means to be an artist. With their remarkable achievements at the Arizona State Fair Art Competition, where Tigireda won first place and Arlyn fourth, these Excelencia School middle school learners are proving that age is just a number in the world of creativity.

Art, in its myriad forms, serves as a conduit for expression, beauty, and sometimes, the startlingly unexpected. Craft artists, like Tigireda and Arlyn, navigate through a kaleidoscope of materials — ceramics, glass, textiles, wood, metal, and paper — to bring their visions to life. Their award-winning pieces, now proudly displayed as a permanent exhibit at Excelencia School, are a testament to their skill and vision.

The journey of these creations involved a blend of techniques: drawing, colored pencils for nuanced shading, and a vibrant mix of watercolor, paint marker, and tempera paint. But beyond the technical prowess lies the heart of their artistry — a boundless imagination and a deep-seated passion.

“I like that creating art allows my imagination to go wild. I can create or draw whatever I want or whatever feels good. I could draw a lion, a stick figure, a circle, it’s up to me and the sky’s the limit,” shares Arlyn, an eighth grader, her eyes sparkling with the excitement of creation. Seventh grader Tigireda echoes a similar sentiment, “I love the calmness and focus that comes from creating art. I can let the normal stress of life go and just be in the moment.”

Their mentor and visual arts teacher, Tara Kratzner-Bills, has been a guiding force, instilling in them the resilience and positivity crucial to an artist’s journey. She has taught them that anything can be art. It was through her guidance that the students entered the art competition at the Arizona State Fair.


“I am so proud of how hard they worked. Instead of completing their projects quickly, the girls put in the time and care to create quality art which shows in how they placed at the fair. Their art speaks for itself. I know both of these girls will continue to create beautiful work in their future high school careers and beyond,” she says.

Inspiration for these young artists comes from the world around them. Arlyn finds her muse in nature, often sketching the plethora of animals on her family’s property — dogs, turtles, birds, chickens, and even a peacock. This love for the natural world influenced her choice to draw an alligator eye. Tigireda, on the other hand, draws inspiration from her love of animals and sports, as seen in her tranquil koi fish artwork.

Looking ahead, both Tigireda and Arlyn harbor dreams as vivid as their art. They share a common ambition to attend Harvard University and a wanderlust to explore the globe. Their high school paths, however, diverge — Arlyn is keen on pursuing engineering and mechanics at Metro Tech High School, while Tigireda is drawn to sports and zoology at Camelback High School.

These young artists are not just creating art; they are weaving dreams and building bridges to their future. Their journey so far is a vibrant reminder that in the world of art, there are no boundaries. As they continue to hone their craft and chase their dreams, Tigireda and Arlyn stand as shining examples of the power of youth and the enduring magic of art.



Word Wise

A mini glossary for young minds.

  1. Boundless: Without limits or endless. Imagine a sky with no end — that’s boundless!
  2. Diverge: To go in different directions. Like when two paths split in a forest, each leading to a different place.
  3. Hone: To sharpen or improve. Just like sharpening a pencil to make it better for drawing, you hone your skills to get better at something.
  4. Muse: A source of inspiration. It can be anything that sparks your creativity, like a person, a place, or even an idea!
  5. Plethora: A lot of something. Imagine having a plethora of colors to paint with — that means you have many different colors!
  6. Prowess: Great skill or ability. When you’re really good at something, like painting or drawing, that’s your prowess.
  7. Wanderlust: A strong desire to travel and explore the world. It’s like having an adventure bug that makes you want to see new places and meet new people.

These are just a few words that help describe the amazing world of art and creativity. Keep these in mind as you read about the inspiring journey of Tigireda and Arlyn, and maybe you’ll find your own boundless muse or discover a new prowess!