Soldotna Elementary School kindergartner Melody Ortiz, 6, shows off her art at Kaladi Brothers Coffee on South Kobuk Street in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, April 8, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna Elementary School kindergartner Melody Ortiz, 6, shows off her art at Kaladi Brothers Coffee on South Kobuk Street in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, April 8, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Making ‘beautiful things’

Kindergartners show off work at Kaladi Brothers Coffee shop

Kids filled the Kaladi Brothers Coffee shop on South Kobuk Street in Soldotna on Friday, giddy to see their original art adorned on the walls.

AnneMarie Rudstrom, a kindergarten teacher at Soldotna Elementary School, organized the field trip to the shop.

She said even though the work was done by 5- and 6-year-olds, she encourages community members to marvel at her students’ talent.

“(Don’t) have a judgment because it’s done by a kindergartner,” Rudstrom said. “You will be pleasantly surprised by their level of work and the thought they put into their pieces, and what they’re capable of.”

Her art students dabbled with painting, multimedia art, mosaics and more this year.

Rudstrom said the kids have learned new techniques and have grown a lot since the beginning of the year.

“I think the challenge with kindergartners, 5- and 6-year-olds, is taking enough steps backwards to teach them the process they’ll have to go through,” she said.

One of the first pieces they worked on was a painting, and Rudstrom said getting kids to cover the whole canvas with color could even be difficult at first. But as they’ve progressed, she said, the kids have individualized a lot of their work.

“You can see their personalities come out in what they’re doing,” Rudstrom said. “I have a large class, so sometimes I don’t have time to listen to everybody tell me their ideas. But everybody has an art project and their thoughts and ideas can come out through that.”

Melody Ortiz, a 6-year-old in Rudstrom’s class, said her favorite piece on display was her mosaic, which was made up of multicolored pieces. She also had a rainbow painting and a multimedia figure of a person in a parka on display.

Ortiz chose a floral pink jacket and dark pants for her parka character, and she was excited to match her clothes with her piece. The 6-year-old was wearing a pink and gray jacket, with black pants and a purple beanie Friday.

Aspen Boehme, another 6-year-old in the class, showed off a watercolor of a tree during the art show.

She said her favorite thing to do in art class is to “make beautiful things.”

Rudstrom said her joy came from her students on Friday.

“I’m most proud of how proud they end up feeling at the end of each project, and also how far we came,” she said.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

Soldotna Elementary School kindergartner Aspen Boehme’s art is on display at Kaladi Brothers Coffee on South Kobuk Street in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, April 8, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna Elementary School kindergartner Aspen Boehme’s art is on display at Kaladi Brothers Coffee on South Kobuk Street in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, April 8, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna Elementary School kindergarten teacher AnneMarie Rudstrom looks at her students’ art show at Kaladi Brothers Coffee on South Kobuk Street in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, April 8, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna Elementary School kindergarten teacher AnneMarie Rudstrom looks at her students’ art show at Kaladi Brothers Coffee on South Kobuk Street in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, April 8, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

The Soldotna Elementary School kindergarten class art is on display at Kaladi Brothers Coffee on South Kobuk Street in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, April 8, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

The Soldotna Elementary School kindergarten class art is on display at Kaladi Brothers Coffee on South Kobuk Street in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, April 8, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

The Soldotna Elementary School kindergarten class runs into Kaladi Brothers Coffee on South Kobuk Street in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, April 8, 2022, to look at their art show. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

The Soldotna Elementary School kindergarten class runs into Kaladi Brothers Coffee on South Kobuk Street in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, April 8, 2022, to look at their art show. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

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