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Local student earns nationwide recognition for T-shirt design
by Mary Cosgrove
mcosgrove@neighbornewspapers.com
January 14, 2014 03:48 PM | 2078 views | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal<br>From left, art teacher Kristi Steele and second-grader Laine Conable.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
From left, art teacher Kristi Steele and second-grader Laine Conable.
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Laine Conable has just barely begun her education, yet she already has a career in mind.

The Burnt Hickory Elementary School second-grader has her mind set on becoming an artist. She races home from school each day to draw, color and create, mom Jill Conable said.

“She’s always doing some sort of arts and crafts,” she said.

Recently, Laine Conable was recognized in a national design contest. More than 45,000 students in grades one through five entered, and she finished in the top 100 of second-grade participants.

P.S. from Aeropostale, a children’s clothing company, challenged students to design a T-shirt using the theme of “What Makes U Smile.”

Laine Conable’s T-shirt design showed smiling monkeys peeking out from behind the shoulders and sides of the shirt itself.

Jill Conable said her daughter has been fascinated with monkeys for a few months now, after her sister-in-law had given Laine Conable a monkey-themed overnight bag.

“She started really loving monkeys after that,” she said.

Burnt Hickory Elementary School art teacher Kristi Steele first heard about the competition after receiving a flyer during the summer, and thought it could be a fun way to show students a different facet of art — fashion design. “We talked about design, the design industry and how that can be an art job, too,” Steele said.

Steele even involved kindergarten students, despite them not being eligible to participate in the contest.

“They liked learning about art design,” she said.

The art classes spent a few days designing and refining their T-shirts, and Steele said she is glad she was not in a position of having to pick a winner.

“We saw a lot of interesting designs,” she said. “The kids are very creative and do an awesome job in everything to do a [with] art.”

It wasn’t until Dec. 16 that the school received word Laine Conable had been selected as a runner-up. “It was read over the announcements and everyone was excited to hear somebody from our school had been one of the 100 kids from their grade selected,” Steele said.

Jill Conable said excitement certainly describes Laine Conable’s reaction, and the recognition has motivated her even further to pursuing a career in the arts. One overall winner from each grade level was selected and all hail from across the country, including North Carolina, New York, Maryland and Florida.

Laine Conable will be awarded a certificate by Aeropostale next month.

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