April 17, 2021

‘Inspiration is everywhere’

Library displays art from 12-year-old Newton resident

Rebekah Coleman’s mom, Sue, said her daughter has been drawing even before she could write her letters. From the time she was a toddler until now, Coleman has practiced her skills and has made significant strides.

“As a kid I was always looking at nature from a different perspective,” Coleman said. “Art was just so helpful and so fun for me as a kid. So I just kept going at it and I got better and better. I just feel like it is really inspiring to some people.”

The 12-year-old Newton resident finds art to be calming, so she can relieve some of the stresses of life by creating something original. Coleman draws mostly with colored pencils, and that is what people can see as the venture to the library. She has drawn an image of a ladybug, a bee, an ostrich, among others.

She has also been teaching herself how to animate with a basic animation program, Pencil 2D. She hopes to begin selling a few of her art pieces to raise money to buy more advanced animation software and other art supplies.

Art has become an outlet for Coleman during the pandemic. She found herself with more time on her hands and less routine activities, so she picked up the pencil and got creative.

“Being alone doing nothing gives you more confidence to try something, so you just do,” Coleman said.

With an interest in nature, that is why she found herself depicting different aspects of the world around us. She has also worked on drawing portraits, displaying several drawings of singer-songwriter Billie Eilish. When it comes to art she said that “inspiration is everywhere.”

It is not without its challenges, however. Coleman finds when she is working on a drawing, she tries to make it perfect. Then she realizes, art doesn’t have to be perfect at all.

“You can make a smudge, and it just becomes part of your work,” Coleman said. “Art is about taking in life through different eyes, and showing how you experience it. It doesn’t have to be how you feel. It can be just what you see. How you see it.”

After her family moved to Newton two years ago, Coleman said the area is still a bit new to her, but she has made use of the Newton Public Library in that time. After youth service librarian Phyllis Peter discovered Coleman’s interest in art, she asked if she would like to display some pieces at the library.

“We love to support the arts at the library, so displaying a young artist’s work fit right in with our mission. Her mom showed me one of her pictures and I knew it would be a display that others would enjoy. I thought her level of art for a 12 year old was excellent, and I knew as a homeschooler the library might be a great way for her to share that with the larger community,” Peter said.

Coleman’s art will be in the display case by the main entrance through March 30. Peter said they always are looking for youth and adult readers to share their talents and collections at the library.

“Shells, rockets, arrowheads are examples of displays,” Peter said. “Our larger display case in the lobby is available to community organizations as well.”

For anyone interested in adding an art collection like Coleman’s or a fun collection, contact Peter at 641-792-4108.

Contact Pam Pratt at 641-792-3121 ext. 6530 or pampratt@newtondailynews.com

Pam Pratt

I have been at the Newton News since October 2014. I started as the Associate Editor and was promoted to Editor in April 2019.