Young artist makes the grade

April 17, 2000


Julia Lowe was among seven Washington County elementary school students whose writings and/or artwork was chosen for inclusion in the Maryland Student Anthology 2000: "Seasons of Our Imagining."

The following students were also winners, and are listed with their grade levels during the 1998-99 school year, when their works were submitted.


SMITHSBURG - Julia Lowe's a published artist - and she's only 8 years old.


The Smithsburg Elementary School third-grader's brightly hued hummingbird flutters on page 57 in "Seasons of Our Imagining," an anthology of art work and writings by Maryland students in kindergarten through grade 12.

"My friends were amazed," Julia said. "And my art teacher was pretty darn happy."

Julia created her painting while a second-grader in Belinda Monn's art class.

Monn and Lee Weaver, Washington County supervisor of fine arts and technical education, photographed Julia's painting and exceptional artistic works from other Smithsburg Elementary students to submit to the contest.

Reagan Rodgers, art teacher at Pleasant Valley and Sharpsburg elementary schools, spearheaded the effort to submit her students' best works, Weaver said.

Julia's painting was one of 141 entries selected from more than 500 submissions statewide, according to Jody Albright of the state Office of Special Projects.

The feat earned Julia and six other Washington County winners a recent trip to Annapolis to meet state first lady Frances Hughes Glendening, who sponsored the publication with state Department of Education Superintendent Nancy Grasmick.

The trip was an even better prize than the huge stuffed Easter Bunny Julia won last year in a supermarket coloring contest, she said.

"And Julia really wanted that bunny," said her mother, Alice Lowe.

Gov. Parris Glendening's wife was younger and the mansion fancier than she had imagined, said Julia, who made the trip with her parents, Dale and Alice Lowe, of Smithsburg.

The first lady was "really pretty and she's really nice, too," the youngster said.

She enjoyed getting her picture taken with the first lady, eating punch and cookies, listening to a string quartet and touring the home filled with flowers and "a big chandelier."

Julia's recent recognition isn't likely to be her last.

"She has a passion for art," Monn said. "She always shows up for class excited abut whatever we're going to do. She's a bit of a perfectionist."

The youngster said art and singing are her favorite pastimes, and she plans to pursue those interests. She credits her father, who said he likes to spend time drawing with Julia, with nurturing her artistic talents.

"She didn't get (her artistic prowess) from me," Alice Lowe, the vocalist in the family, said with a laugh.

Julia taps her imagination daily, drawing everything from maps of make-believe cities to aliens in outer space. She said she specializes in filling her pictures with different patterns.

"She'll sit for a long time and just draw," Alice Lowe said.

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