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Northlake Preschool to Show Kids' Art from Japan, India, Peru -- and Kirkland

The school is staging a vivid International Children’s Art Bazaar Friday afternoon to celebrate diversity and the importance of artistic expression.

Brilliantly colored artwork by children in Romania, India, Japan, Norway, Peru and right here in Kirkland will be on display Friday afternoon at ’s first International Children’s Art Bazaar -- one tiny step toward making a big world feel familiar.

“Because we are very multi-cultural here, I like to give the kids a perspective of art from other kids around the world,” explains Sue Werner, operator of the school in downtown Kirkland. “You can see the stylistic differences. In Japan kids paint the sun red, here they paint it yellow, and the Indian art has tigers and elephants and snakes.

“It makes the world smaller, I think, and I love kid’s art. If you just let it be art, it’s cool, it’s very cool.”

Plus, says 5-year-old Maier Harris, a kindergarten student at the school, “it makes our parents proud of us!”

Vivid paintings in watercolor, tempera, chalk, crayon and oil pastels and block prints, along with photos of some of the students who made it, will decorate the walls of the historic chapel built in 1938 that the school leases from (315 3rd Ave South). Work by Northlake students will be on sale, ranging from “300 cents to 500 cents,” to help pay for more art supplies. Werner expects most of those to be snapped up by parents.

Ages of the artists range from 2 to 11 years. Altogether about 170 paintings will be on display. The bazaar will be short, only from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 20.

Werner, who lives on Rose Hill, taught art to kids as a college student in her hometown of St. Louis, where similar bazaars were conducted. She arranged to have the art shipped here from various contacts in the countries involved, and is reciprocating by sending art from her students.

For example, one of the Northlake teachers is from Japan and has a nephew who attends a school for deaf children in the city of Ichikawa. Those students visited a zoo and created the art from that experience. Werner’s sister-in-law is from Karachi, Pakistan, and helped arrange an exchange with a school in Mumbai, India.

The show is also simply to celebrate the kids' art, which Werner says is critically important for young students. “Art gives children who don’t excel at reading or math or sports another venue for accomplishing something and being successful.”

Art is also a constructive means of expression. “Art does more for you than just putting something on paper,” Werner explains. “It lets you create and build.”

Northlake, a non-profit school for kids 18 months to six years old that includes an accredited kindergarten program, plans on making the bazaar an annual event and perhaps including art from local elementary schools in the future.

As for the kids, they’re super excited. “I just can’t wait,” said Caden Erickson, 5, from Kenmore. “I made a plane because they’re cool.”

Added Matilda Ventura of Kirkland, also 5: “I wanted to know what they (kids from other countries) paint and what they draw.”

Young Mr. Harris figured to have a restless night. “I don’t think I can sleep tonight I’m so excited about the show.”

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