Covington student art walk a celebration of talent, volunteers and partnerships

Betty Nomura’s mission has been more than fulfilled this year as the Fourth Annual Covington Student Art Walk drew more than 400 pieces submitted by local children.

“This is my baby,” Nomura said.

In 2005 the art walk, which features student art work at Covington City Hall and businesses through out the city like Cutters Point near Fred Meyer, seven schools participated, there were 150 pieces of art displayed at 15 businesses.

Nomura has guided the growth of the event as a member of the Covington Arts Commission since inception of the art walk.

But the growth from last year has been remarkable, almost to the point where it was overwhelming for Nomura, which she acknowledged last week at the Art Walk kick off reception at City Hall.

“It’s very stressful,” Nomura said. “Last year when I reported to the council … I said we had 181 pieces and that we were at or near capacity. This year I thought, ‘What are we going to do?’ The growth has been tremendous.”

Mayor Margaret Harto was nearly speechless, she said, when she heard there are more than 400 pieces of art on display this year, uttering “Wow” during the reception.

Nomura said the commissioners promised teachers they would try and get up every piece of art and somehow they managed to do that thanks in part to additional sponsors and business participation this year.

All the work has been well worth it, though, she said.

“The kids do a beautiful job,” she said. “Covington is young enough that the possibilities are endless if we take the time and have the money.”

Harto said she is impressed with all involved in the project.

“This is a celebration of the talents of the schools in our community,” Harto said. “We want to thank those staffs … for giving their students the opportunity to express themselves.”

And she also credited the positive support of parents in their children’s artistic endeavors because, Harto said, “No child picks up a crayon or a paint brush or a pen … in isolation.”

Marlla Mhoon, who serves on the Covington City Council, said the “city is beautiful” because of the student art.

She also credited the work of the arts commissioners.

“They’re just volunteers and they work so hard,” Mhoon said. “It’s just really come together and it’s a wonderful thing.”

Alan MacLurg, one of the owners of Cutters Point at Fred Meyer, said he was a little skeptical at first about having student art work on the walls of the coffee shop but once it started going up he knew it was a great idea.

“We’ve had a lot of comments,” MacLurg said. “We’re pleased with it. People came in and said, ‘This is a classy touch.’”

Councilman Wayne Snoey said the art walk demonstrates one of the key priorities the City Council has for Covington.

“The City Council has taken great pains to try and develop big city amenities in Covington but not at the expense of small town character,” Snoey said. “The student art walk is the perfect example of small town character that we want to preserve and promote.”