Bessie Smith art contest

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Kids across the area are showing off their artistic skills.

This is the 4th year for the contest sponsored by the Bessie Smith Cultural Center.

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The contest is growing, according to Cultural Center President Paula Wilkes.

“Each year it gets bigger and bigger, more kids, different students from different schools get involved. So K-12 can participate and we’ve got kindergarten all the way up through, we didn’t have any seniors this year. But we do have quite a few of 11th graders and it’s some very talented children and youth in our city.”

The students drew pictures of Chattanooga native Bessie Smith, who was an American blues singer.

Laura Madrigal is a 9th grader at the STEM school.

This was her first time hearing about Bessie Smith.

“I didn’t really know about her. And so when I started drawing and like learning all these new things about her. She really put herself out there with her work and her music.”

The art work will be on display all the rest of this month at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center in Chattanooga.