Local students’ artwork featured at exhibit

Fourth of July by Harrison Kriebel of North Mianus School is one of 150 works displayed in the 17th International Children’s Art Show at The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk.

Fourth of July by Harrison Kriebel of North Mianus School is one of 150 works displayed in the 17th International Children’s Art Show at The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk.

Drawings by four students from North Mianus School are among those featured in a special gallery show now open at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk featuring 150 works by children from 22 countries.

The 17th International Children’s Art Exhibit is presented by Creative Connections now through Labor Day. The exhibit is free because it is displayed in the aquarium’s IMAX Theater lobby, which can be entered without paid admission.

The theme of the 2013 show is Illuminate! Bringing My Culture to Light. The drawings and paintings were created by children, ages eight to 16, who were challenged to share a cultural belief or value that is meaningful to them. The catch? They also had to include a natural, man-made or symbolic source of light.

“It’s interesting to see how the children’s responses range broadly, while at the same time reflect similarities — such as family, friends and community — despite their different worlds,” said Judith Bacal, the aquarium’s exhibits director.

Pieces are included from 22 countries around the globe, including China, Poland, Uganda, Cambodia, Guatemala, Latvia, Cyprus, Turkey, Senegal, Nepal, Mexico and Ireland.

Children from Connecticut — including dozens from 16 schools in Fairfield County — are equally represented. Entries by the North Mianus students are Fireflies in the Night by Katherine Feldmeth, age nine; Fourth of July by Harrison Kriebel, age nine; Veterans Day by Ryan Lewis, age nine; and My Family Tradition by Cesar Valdez, age 10.

Generally, moments or topics chosen as meaningful by Connecticut students include Fourth of July fireworks, parades, school days, Relay for Life events, religious celebrations and gatherings of family and friends.

Previously during the school year, through Creative Connections’ ArtLink program, the artwork of the Connecticut students was exchanged with the pieces by the students from overseas, allowing insights into their partners’ cultures.

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