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The Lakelander’s art contest for kids

It seems our city has entered a renaissance per se, a new season of creating and cultivating
dreams. When a city’s creative space is award-winning, it’s only fair to say these artistic
individuals aren’t only creative, but they’re pretty darn good at it.

Now budding with bakers, musicians, sculptors, and the like, it’s apparent that Lakeland is built on a unique set of artistic adults. And when a growing city is full of creative adults, artistic kids are bound to be found. As it holds true to its artistic investments, like the Polk Museum of Art’s education department (featured in our March/April issue of this year), Lakeland enriches the creative development experience for our young artists. There’s nothing quite as reviving than a community that continues to grow and encourage the pursuit of the creative endeavor.

Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” As opposed to adults’ matured and preconceived notions of art, there is an advantage a child has when faced with a blank canvas. Their artistry is uninhibited. Their vision is untainted. Their broad senses are crystal clear. A child has no fear of perfection, which can produce a work of art in its purest form.

Art has a way of keeping us all alive, alive and childlike. It only makes sense, then, that a celebration of Lakeland’s kids had to include their masterpieces.

For The Lakelander’s first-ever Kids Create Art Contest, we asked for your kids to send in artwork that in some way highlighted the city of Lakeland. After receiving beautiful compositions of painting, photography, and writing from kids all over our city, the decisions were certainly tough ones.

Here are our Editors’ Choices:

Fine Art


Artist: Autumn Weiland

Teacher: Angela Slomowitz and Terry Virts

Grade: VPK

School: Joyful Hearts Preschool


Artist: Emerson Valenti

Teacher: Mrs. Kari Clever

Grade: 3

School: Lakeland Christian School

Livi Poly Pic

Artist: Olivia Gelsinger

Teacher: Mrs. Giles

Grade: 5

School: R. Bruce Wagner Elementary

 104 - Copy



Photographer: Haley Jones

Teacher: Mrs. Kari Clever

Grade: 12

School: Lakeland Christian School


Photographer: Logan Nichols

Teacher: Mrs. Christie

Grade: 7

School: McKeel Academy of Technology


Photographer: Nicholas Stross

Teacher: Teresa Stross

Grade: 5

School: Homeschool



Author: Karis Gibson

Teacher: Donna Lynam

Grade: 5

School: Geneva Classical Academy


The Bent Tree at Lake Hollingsworth

There once stood a tree all twisted and bent.
Whenever I spotted it up I went.
I would climb right up and say easy as pie.
Then I would jump off and say I can fly.
But over time that tree grew old and the leaves touched the ground.
For the safety of the runners, it had to come down.
But there still stands a sign in the place that it stood.
At Lake Hollingsworth so go take a look.
For that tree reminds me of the past.
In that very tree my mom once sat.
Then it was me sitting in that tree,
And also the rest of my family