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Kids show off art talent at Los Angeles County Fair

Harry Fuqua, 4, enjoys one of the many activities offered at the America’s Kids “A Time Long Ago” exhibit at the Los Angeles County Fair on Sept. 17. The overall theme for the pavilion is set in Medieval times where children can dress as knights, learn about and build their own castles and practice archery. Also on display is local grade school art. / photo by Scott Mirimanian

Christina Collins Burton
Staff Writer

The artistic works of Los Angeles County children are on display at the America’s Kids exhibit at the L.A. County Fair.

“It’s good; I think a lot of it looks above their level,” said Sharon Vanloon from Acton.

As Vanloon and her husband walk through the aisles looking at the displays, booth workers search the displays with a hammer, nails and glue sticks making sure that none of the children’s pieces fall off the wall.

“Tell me if you see any pictures that are falling,” said kindergarten teacher Sally Olsen.

She balances on a ladder to hammer in a nail on one of the many projects submitted for display.

“I’ve worked the fair for three years, but this is my first time working this exhibit,” Olsen said.

Paintings, drawings and photos came pouring in July 25 from all over the county for judging and display in this year’s fair.

Any art submitted could be both on the child’s own or through the schools each child attends. In some cases, teachers brought the art from their district to be displayed at the fair.

Artwork that follows this year’s theme “A Long Time Ago” involves the fairy tale stories that talk about the adventures of knights rescuing princesses from fierce dragons.

Each year for the fair a different theme is selected for activities, coloring contests and art sent in for judging.

The art can range from a variety of different work but this year’s theme was selected by Nancy Bates, the America’s Kids Coordinator.

“The theme is one I wanted to do and it is one I thought would be a lot of fun,” Bates said.

Ribbons were awarded to artwork on the child’s grade level and how well done the piece was. Anyone that submitted art that followed this year’s theme received recognition through a Ruby ribbon for outstanding use of theme.

“We have a merit system [for judging], each item is judged on its own and not against what is next to it,” said Bates.

More than 2,500 pieces were submitted by kids ranging from preschool to seniors in high school. Bates and the staff at the America’s Kids display were setting up from the date of submission until 1:30 a.m. the morning of opening day.

Every original drawing and art project submitted hangs within the America’s Kids exhibit halls located inside the blue gate entrance to the fair.

The children’s art will be on display until the L.A. County Fair ends Oct. 3.

Christina Collins Burton can be reached at

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