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Talented Alma junior selected for national Artsonia contest 9/23/22

Talented Alma junior selected for national Artsonia contest

By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools 


It’s a long way from Alma, Arkansas to Whales, Australia. 


But Alma High School art student Natalia Moore used her imagination — and artistic skills — to narrow the gap. 


The Alma junior drew a picture of Aussie guitarist Michael Clifford that’s currently being played out across the region as part of an online art contest. 


Alma art teacher Katelyn Ferguson entered Moore’s drawing of Clifford as part of Artsonia’s Artist of the Week entry. 


Twelve students were chosen nationally from Alabama to Colorado, Ohio, and Arkansas, among others.


“If she wins, she will get a $50 blick gift card, and I will get a $100 blick gift card to spend on Art supplies for my classroom,” Ferguson said. “I promised the kids some new fancy pencil sharpeners if we win. In an art room, nice pencil sharpeners are the equivalent of gold.”


“She (Ferguson) told us to draw a celebrity,” Moore said. “The guy I picked is in my favorite band. His name is Michael Clifford; he’s in the band ‘Five Seconds Of Summer.’ 


“He’s a really good guitarist.”


The Australian-born Clifford and his bandmates have sold $10M albums since 2014. 


“I really like him a lot,” Moore said. “He’s kind of like my idol. I was going to do Harry Styles but some of the girls in my art class picked him.”


Moore’s talents come naturally, Ferguson said. 


“As a freshman, Natalia was one of the quiet kids who wouldn't necessarily speak up unless prompted. However, once I saw the quality of work that she consistently turned in, I knew that she would be in my Art classes for the rest of her high school years,” Ferguson said. “It has been neat to see her personality flourish as she has quite literally grown up in the art room these past three years. 


“I will get to have her in my AP Studio Art class next year and I cannot wait to see her grow even more!”


“I didn’t think I was that good,” Moore said. “I was honestly kind of shocked.”


The Artsonia contest includes kids from four different categories — PK-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12.


“I have been using Artsonia as an online Art Portfolio for my entire career,” Ferguson said. “Throughout the past 10 years, I have had about four students selected for this contest. This is my second student to be selected from Alma. The last time one of my students won this contest was when I worked at Ramsey Junior High six years ago.”


Moore insists she doesn’t spend every free moment with a pencil in her hand. “Honestly, I don’t go home and draw,” she said. “I’m honestly not that good at drawing.”


“I have had the opportunity to have her in my class for three years now and the best word I can think of to describe her and her work ethic is ... consistent,” Ferguson said. “She consistently works hard, consistently goes above and beyond in her work, consistently pays attention to details, and consistently is striving to improve her work. She is one of those kids that you know is going to deliver amazing results every single time because of the high standard she has for the work that she produces.”


Moore said she appreciates Ferguson’s attention to detail.


“I like how she is really organized,” Moore said. “I don’t know how to explain it. She sets in place what she wants her students to do.


“She makes her students do their work.”


Moore’s advice for the younger generation of art students is to believe in yourself.


“Just try your best and don’t doubt yourself,” Moore said. “If you think it looks bad, don’t be afraid to now draw what you want.


“Don’t hide your talent.”


Vote for Natalie here: