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Art depicts what life at 100 percent means to students

Art Students showing their art

When Balsam Lake Unity School art teachers Craig Zipperer and Jennifer Vos Benkowski asked their students who would like to participate in expressing what living life at 100 percent meant them, two hands went up enthusiastically in each classroom.

In celebration of our 100th anniversary this year, we asked these young, local artists to create their own of interpretation of the St. Croix Regional Medical Center (SCRMC) anniversary theme, “Life @ 100%.”

We then asked them to tell us what inspired the artwork they produced, and then installed the four pieces at Unity Clinic in a special window display.  They’ll also be shown this fall at SCRMC’s Centennial celebration, Thursday, September 19 at the hospital in St. Croix Falls.

Here’s what they said:

“To live life at 100% in my mind means going on adventures. Exploring new places, tasting something new, meeting a stranger, and taking risks. Especially going on a fishing trip in Alaska with my family, watching whales jump out of the water as we head in.”

Sidney Bader, 9th Grade, Unity High School, “Adventures” 

“This painting is Agate Beach in Oregon. It was the first time I had been at the ocean as well as my first vacation. We traveled there for spring break one year because my older sister lives there, and we hadn’t seen her in a long time. This beach will always be one of my happier memories because it was a time in my life when everyone was truly happy. For me, in that moment, life couldn’t get much better than that.”

Kalie Kvalevog, 11th Grade, Unity High School, “Agate Beach”

“In working on this artwork I discovered that I like to draw colorful backgrounds and plain, simple pictures. I like to show that plain things deserve to be beautiful and noticed too. Don’t Walk, Fly means you should stand out from walkers and be a flyer! We all need to live the best life we can because life is too short so living to 100% is good for you and others. I also put a rainbow storm because it also means stand out from other people and be who you are. Never stop being you! The umbrella shows to fight back the people who won’t accept you for who you are. If you are right next to someone who won’t accept you, tell them, ‘I am who I am and I love me for me!’”

Maddy Schleusner, 3rd Grade, Unity Elementary School, “Don’t Walk, Fly” 

“Living life to 100% means that no matter how weird, unique, artistic, adventurous, curious, wonderful or awesome you are, you just have to be yourself. I mean, what if you were famous? You wouldn’t be hard on yourself then! Some people call me weird; but 1, weird is a side effect of awesome and 2, I made this and I am proud! I love that everybody can be different and help each other succeed. Living life to 100% is doing things the way you think it should be done whether it is fishing, learning or anything else. NEVER give up on yourself. Work hard for your dreams. I want to be a journalist so I am beginning by making my own newspaper, The Weekly Wow. If the ending’s not a happily-ever-after, then it’s not the ending. Keep trying and never give up on yourself!!!”

Johanna Tretsven, 4th grade, Unity Elementary School