Art student, teacher earn honors


Senior Art Student Talynn Simer’s art piece “Faith Through Psalms” will be feature in the National Art Educators Association Virtual Gallery starting Jan. 28

Story by Joel Huntebrinker, Editor/Reporter

On Jan. 28, 2019, National Art Honors Society President senior Talynn Simer’s art piece “Faith Through Psalms” will be featured in the National Art Educators Association Virtual Gallery.

Over 980 students across the nation applied to be in the gallery. Simer is one out of the top 74 selected, though she didn’t even know about the application.

“Ms. Meneses told me to get on FaceBook, and I didn’t think anything of it because I’m president of NAHS,” Simer said. “I got on there and it said that I was selected for a National exhibit.”

Art teacher Ms. Kim Meneses nominated Simer’s art. Senior Shaurie Litton believes Simer won because of her distinct style.

“Her work is very individual, very unique,” Litton said. “If you looked at her work but didn’t know it was by her, you would still immediately know it was hers.”

Simer’s favorite type of art is abstract. She feels that art is good for self expression and plans to use it for special education.

“My favorite aspect of painting is the freedom that comes with it,” Simer said. “I’m going to be a special education teacher but I think I can incorporate art to give them that comfort and confidence in themselves.”

In addition to Simer’s honor, Ms. Meneses earned one of her own. She will be Missouri’s Secondary Art Teacher of The Year for 2018.

“Every year I select students to enter, this year I selected Talynn. They have a board that goes through thousands of works of art,” Meneses said. “I will be recognized by the same group, the Missouri Art Teachers Association.”

Ms. Meneses didn’t like abstract art originally but was open to Simer’s concepts.

“Ms. Meneses is encouraging and very supportive of my ideas,” Simer said. “She was against abstract art in the beginning and for this piece she just let me do it and she loves it now.”

Teaching art classes at Christian schools along with public school brought Ms. Meneses closer to the community and her children.

“I was in art all of my life,” Ms. Meneses said. “I wanted to be more involved with my kids and the schools, instead of working the corporate world.”

Ms. Meneses believes the best art students put in effort and stay open minded.

“I can teach anyone to draw and paint but you have to be teachable,” Ms. Meneses said. “People think if it doesn’t happen the first time that you’re a failure but that isn’t the case. Just go for it instead of prejudging.”

Meneses will accept her award at the April 13 Missouri Art Teachers Association Meeting.