INDIANAPOLIS — South Newton senior Kayla Florian was awarded honorable mention in the 2021 Cooperative Calendar of Indiana Student Art Contest and her artwork was also a part of the annual Hoosier Salon Art Exhibition August 29-October 25 at the Indiana State Museum.

Florian entered the contest last school year as a junior and this is her second honorable mention placing for the contest.

Since 1998, Indiana Connection and participating Indiana electric cooperatives have held an annual art contest for Indiana students in grades kindergarten through 12. The winning works from each grade are then used to illustrate the Cooperative Calendar of Student Art that participating REMCs/RECs distribute.

Each of the numbered grades is given the corresponding month of the year to illustrate: 12 grades, 12 months. Kindergartners are assigned the cover each year. The calendar is localized by the participating cooperatives to provide important information to consumers such as billing and annual meeting dates, phone numbers, and electrical safety and energy efficiency information. The calendar helps co-ops meet one of the 7 cooperative principles — member information and education. In addition, by being illustrated with student art, the calendar helps fulfill another of the 7 principles — commitment to community.

As more art programs in schools face budgetary challenges, Indiana Connection believes encouraging the arts — the imagination, self-expression, and creativity these disciplines stimulate — is vital to society. Not only do the arts produce aesthetic beauty and entertainment for our hearts and souls, but study after study also shows the arts play a key role alongside science, technology, engineering, and math in producing the minds of well-rounded, problem-solving, thoughtful individuals needed to lead and run our modern, high-tech world.

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