Not Just for Kids


Annapolis Girl Meets Van Gogh

story by Mark BurnsAmy Jackson

Vincent Van Gogh's paintings are so popular that thousands of people line up in the frosty cold of the very early morning just to get a ticket. Even if these early birds get one, they have to peer over the heads of hundreds of others just to get a peek.

So, when only 27 people have the museum to themselves, it's something special.

That's what happened for fifth-grader Amy Jackson of Annapolis. The Eastport Elementary student and six other fifth graders - from Ashburn, Va.; Springfield, Ill.; Tallahassee, Fl.; Albany, NY; Sacramento, Ca.; and Austin, Tx. - took a trip to Washington, D.C., with their parents as the winners of a national art contest to paint or draw the classroom of the future. Amy won the Annapolis-area contest with her drawing, "The Future Classroom."

In D.C. she and the other winners got red-carpet treatment, being driven around in cars, given hotel rooms, invited to a black-tie dinner gala in their honor and given cool prizes as described in the interview below.

Anne Arundel County's runners-up were Jeremy Burns of Severna Park Elementary with his "Learning Module 2857" and Aimee Rapke of Davidsonville Elementary who created "Colors of the Future."

Amy Jackson, at right, doesn't have any plans for her $1,000 savings bond yet, but her mom, Cathy Tuel, does.

"If I have my way, it's going into a savings account for college."


Artist Amy Jackson's Special Visit

The seven winners of a national art contest among fifth graders all came to Washington, D.C. last weekend to enjoy their prize - a private tour of the "Van Gogh's Van Goghs" exhibit at the National Gallery of Art.

Anne Arundel County's winner is Amy Jackson, a student at Eastport Elementary School. Her school is a winner, too, getting $5,000 worth of new computer equipment.

But that's not all. Amy was also driven around by a car and driver, stayed in a room with all the amenities at the fancy Willard Hotel, went to a formal reception after the exhibit to receive her awards, took home a music box decorated with a self-portrait of Van Gogh - and is expecting a $1,000 savings bond in the mail. Her mom and stepdad, Cathy and Roger Tuel, got to come along, too.

What was it like? Hear it in Amy's words:

Q: What did you draw for your winning entry?

A: I just drew what I thought the classroom of the future might look like. Instead of a chalkboard, it had a big computer screen with buttons on the side.


Q: What gave you the idea?

A: I just thought it would be fun.


Q: How did you enjoy your visit to the Van Gogh exhibit?

A: It was fun. I liked everything.


Q: Had you seen any of Van Gogh's paintings before the exhibit?

A:: Just a couple.


Q:: Are you a fan of his now?

A: Yes, I guess you could say that.


Q: What did you learn about him?

A: I didn't know he looked like that. I also learned how he used different colors.


Q: Any advice for other kids interested in making art?

A: It doesn't have to be perfect.

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VolumeVI Number 50
December 17-23, 1998
New Bay Times

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