KVAL to recognize local art students

The public is welcome to attend the next meeting of the Kishwaukee Valley Art League, titled the “Art of Giving,” at 7 p.m. Dec. 5 in the Unitarian Universalist Church at North Fourth and Locust streets in DeKalb.

The main feature of the evening will be the recognition of five gifted, local art students and the presentation of some of their works of art.

Carleine Straka, philanthropy chairwoman of the art league, approached the art departments at local schools and asked if they would nominate outstanding students to participate in the league's “Art of Giving” program.

The following students were nominated: Emily Greer, oil painting, Kishwaukee College; Holly Baker, ceramics, DeKalb High School, junior; Madeline Alger, acrylic painting, DHS, senior; Cameron Kelley, abstract surrealist in watercolor, pen & ink, photography, Sycamore High School, senior; Stefany Veldhuizen, impressionistic oil painting, SHS, junior.

One of the students, Cameron (Cam) Kelley, provided background information about himself. He is a pretty typical teenager in many ways – he enjoys skate and snow boarding, mountain biking and hiking. However, his artistic side has allowed him to win and place in competitions such as the Battle of the Arts (first place) and the Northern Illinois Big 12 Art Comp 2012 (third place in watercolor).

Kelley also enjoys photography and plays guitar. When he heads off to college, he hopes to be a sound engineer major and music production minor.

Carleine Straka is an accomplished artist herself and has been involved with art and art leagues for many years. She currently works in pastel, oil pastel and watercolor.

“I feel there is a little bit of artist in everyone of us.," she said in a news release. "Whether profound or subtle, we all have some desire to create something artistic or expressive. I feel it is very important to recognize, encourage and reward the emerging student artist.”

With this in mind, KVAL members are encouraged to donate art supplies, suitable for children of all ages which will be distributed to various local charities.

Refreshments will be served. For more information about the art league, visit

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