For a small group of students at Seymour-Jackson Elementary School, art is worth getting up early for.

Members of the school’s new art club have been arriving at 7:30 a.m., an hour earlier than their classmates, and some have been giving up their recess time to complete a special project.

It has taken about a month to finish, but the students and their art teacher, Mariella Wehmiller, couldn’t be happier with the result.

The piece, made up of individual squares giving it a patchwork effect, is a vibrant illustration of what the students think of when they think of Jackson County.

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Using colorful pieces of mulberry paper, which is similar to tissue paper but more textured, the students created a landscape featuring a big red barn, train tracks, sandhill cranes and a large tree.

“They worked so hard on it, and it turned out great,” Wehmiller said. “This is such a wonderful and talented group of students to work with, and I’m so proud of them for what they’ve come up with.”

The students are fifth-graders Adrian Barron, Hannah Dart, Blake Dunn, Alex Franklin, Maria Gamiz, Taiyo Murashige, Genner Quirino and Ellye Schrink. They were chosen to be in the school’s art club based on their artistic ability, dependability and behavior.

All of the students agreed they had fun working together on the project and that they enjoy art because it allows them to be creative and express their interests and talents.

Wehmiller said she provided the materials and technical ideas for the project, but the students came up with the content by doing online research about Jackson County.

“They printed out pictures of what they found and picked out what they liked best,” Wehmiller said. “Everyone keeps asking me if I helped them, and I have to tell them, ‘No. They did it themselves.'”

The artwork, which is framed and ready to hang, is one of 10 pieces that will be part of a silent auction at the annual Seymour Community Schools Celebration of the Arts event from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at Shops at Seymour.

This marks the 32nd year for the public art show, which features drawings, paintings, sculptures and other mediums.

Each school building, including St. Ambrose Catholic School, Immanuel Lutheran School and Trinity Lutheran High School, contributed a piece of student-made art for the auction.

All money raised will go back to the individual school’s art program to purchase supplies and materials and to fund art scholarships at the high school level.

Wehmiller said the show always has a good turnout of parents, family members and teachers because of the number of students who have art on display.

A total of 1,433 students from kindergarten through 12th grade have artwork in this year’s show.

“The community has always been good about coming out and supporting our schools and our students’ talents and hard work,” Wehmiller said.

If you go

What: Seymour Community Schools’ 32nd annual Celebration of the Arts student art show

When: 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday

Where: Shops at Seymour, 357 Tanger Blvd.

Who: Participating schools are Seymour Community Schools, St. Ambrose Catholic School, Immanuel Lutheran School and Trinity Lutheran High School

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at or 812-523-7069.