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Unleash the Mini-Michelangelos!

Let's celebrate Children’s Art Week and the wonders of youthful creativity

Streams in the Wasteland: Whale Hymn, 2015 - oil on braced Baltic birch, by Josh Tiessen

“My kid could paint that.”

We’ve all made…or at least thought…this comment before, but you haven’t seen anything yet! In honor of Children’s Art Week, meet a collection of child art prodigies who are shaking up the art world with their incredible craftsmanship.

Run by Engage, Children’s Art Week seeks to unite everyone in celebrating and creating art worldwide. With three themed weeks beginning at the end of June and running through mid-July, Engage challenges everyone to provide opportunities for art in their communities so that children, young people, and families can create in the same space as artists and art educators.

It’s a great time to expand your art repertoire. Whether you admire in awe or try your hand at a new technique, these youngsters from around the world are sure to inspire your inner artist.

Even if you can’t host a community event, you can introduce your community to the following child artists and encourage them to emulate their style with simple projects of their own. Here are some options for each themed week:

Week 1 - The Natural World

A Natural Progression: Gloaming - watercolor by Kieron Williamson

Breaking into the art world by storm at the age of 5 from England, his first exhibition in the UK sold out in 14 minutes. The subject of the BBC’s The Making of a Master, Kieron shares the good, the bad, and the ugly of being a phenom in the art world. His astounding renditions of the natural world akin him to Monet. He now works as a professional artist and continues to astound the world with his eye and talent.

One bit of advice? Kieron, at age 8, said, “Never give up. Try and keep your buildings straight. And don’t do a plain blue sky.”

Week 2 - Connecting Across Generations

Art by Kareem Olamilekan Waris

Nigerian Kareem Waris Olamilekan goes by the name Waspa, touting himself as a “bitty artist” with incredible skills in hyper-realism. Capturing the personality and surreal detail in each inch of his work, Waspa shockingly uses a pencil for most of his art. Standing near a Waspa work, you could almost swear the person will come right out of the page and touch you. Waspa pulls inspiration from the world around him, documenting the plight that many in Nigeria face daily, connecting generations of Africans to the Western world.

Week 3 - Literacy and Creative Writing

Prodigy artist, Elisabeth Anisimow in front of one of her works

Like a storybook come to life, Elisabeth Anisimow merges reality and fantastical imagination with her living art. Anisimow creates the paintings behind her art, but also works on the costuming and paints the performers who add the 3D effect to her art. Originally inspired by the French tableau vivant tradition, Anisimow takes a 21st-century approach to this tradition.

Her advice to other kids? “Believe in yourself, and believe in your work. There will always be people who like your work and others who won’t. Follow your heart.”

For more information on Children’s Art Week and how you can celebrate, check out the Engage website.

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