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Preparing a canvas for art and the young child

Fletcher Kinnunen, 4, shows off his finished masterpiece. (Courtesy Michelle DeVos)
By Cindy Yingst, Thursday, April 11, 2019

Some of the world’s most beloved artists started young.

Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Georgia O’Keeffe were painting by their early teens.

The works of some of our region’s youngest artists will be included in the Second Saturday Art Walk in downtown Astoria.

Who knows? The next Michelangelo could be among them.

“I think it empowers them to become artists,” said Michelle DeVos, preschool instructor and supervisor at Warrenton Prep Preschool. “They get to show off their work at a gala and bring in not just parents but the public to see what kids are capable of and what they can do when you stretch their abilities.”

About 100 very young artists will be featured during Art Walk in the former Abeco building.

The space was donated by building owner Will Kemp, a local artist and teacher.

April is Month of the Young Child and members of Astoria Downtown Historical District, which organizes Art Walk, wanted to celebrate it.

The show will feature students at Warrenton Prep and kindergarten through second graders at Warrenton Grade School, plus community partners Warrenton Head Start, Astoria School District, Kinder Ready Kids, Simply Kids Preschool, Salmonberry Play School, Bumblebee Art Studio, and Seaside Heights Kindergarten.

“We just feel it’s so important as teachers to come together,” DeVos said. “This is a way for us to celebrate the young artists.”

The group also hopes to expose parents to all types of art.

“It’s so amazing to watch all those families intermingle and break out of their shell,” she said.

If you go

What: Young Child Art Gala

When: 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 13

Where: Abeco Building, 1332 Commercial St., Astoria

Admission: Free

Taysom Stroddard, 4, is engaged in the first stages of processed art. (Courtesy Michelle DeVos)

Raeleah Basel, 3, colors a caterpillar. (Courtesy Michelle DeVos)

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