Island County tots share artwork

Seven-month-old Kyle Ritchie practices his artistic skills in his bathtub under the supervision of mom, Kathy Ritchie.  - Photo courtesy of Kathy Ritchie
Seven-month-old Kyle Ritchie practices his artistic skills in his bathtub under the supervision of mom, Kathy Ritchie.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Kathy Ritchie

Local businesses are showcasing art from some of the island’s youngest residents this month, ranging from birth to age 5.

Partners in Island County for Early Learning, Island County’s Born Learning group and Sno-Isle Libraries collaborated with the Northwest Early Learning Born Learning Campaign and Thrive by Five to support a county-wide effort to display the artwork.

The art was collected back in April and about 80 pieces were sent in.

“The request was for any flat piece of art. They used pencils, crayons, finger paints, anything. The youngest child with artwork is less than a year old,” Barb Spence, Coordinator of Partners in Island County for Early Learning, said.

Kyle Ritchie, 7-months-old, was placed in a bathtub by his mother and given non-toxic finger paint to spread around on paper. It was his first piece of art and they’ve since added to the collection.

“I wanted him to try some creative ways to express himself. Maybe later down the line it will inspire him to go on that path,” Kathy Ritchie said.

The two visited the displayed artwork in Oak Harbor’s Paint Your World, Wednesday.

“They did a great job with the framing. It’s so cute!” Ritchie said.

Children from birth learn through visual, auditory and kinesthetic input that builds neural connections. Spence said practicing developing skills such as interacting with media, will help with a child’s future.

“Businesses find that investing in this will help create successful business learners one day,” Spence said.

Sno-Isle Libraries will honor the children with a celebration at the Oak Harbor Library June 19 at 11 a.m. and the Coupeville Library at 9:30 a.m. The library will present the children with book marks and a box of paints.

“The importance of this is two-fold. It makes children really excited that their work is out there and helps the community understand the creativity and talent of young children,” Spence said.

Through June 30 the work will be displayed at Popsies, Paint Your World, Starbucks, Angelos, Wind and Tide and Bay Leaf in Oak Harbor. In Coupeville, the art is located at Aqua Gifts, Kapaw’s Iskreme, Coupe’s View and Windjammer Gallery.

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