“I didn’t think my art would end up in a museum” – CBS Philly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Do you remember all the things you drew when you were a kid? If you never thought they’d go anywhere, a local high school girl is happy to tell you otherwise because her work has just been exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

“I did this drawing in fifth grade,” said Juanita Evermon Muniz.

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Never in Juanita Evermon Muniz’s wildest dreams would she have imagined that her childhood drawing would end up in the famed Philadelphia Museum of Art.

“I feel very blessed,” she said. “I feel very emotional because I didn’t think my art would end up in a museum.”

Juanita is now a senior in high school. She was an art student at George W. Nebinger School when she chose Edgar Degas’ iconic sculpture “Little Dancer” as inspiration for her design.

“I chose to do the dancer only because I felt I could relate to it because at the time I was doing art, I was doing dance and I was doing music too”, said Juanita.

It is now one of eight artworks by Philadelphia School District students on display in the art museum cafe.

Juanita’s former art teacher beams with pride.

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“To nurture them in art, like she’s grown up now. She’s a senior in high school now and she’s still doing art and it really excites me, makes me happy and proud,” said Leslie Grace, Juanita’s art teacher.

“It’s whimsical, it’s joyful, it’s the future,” said Barbara Chandler Allen, president and founder of the nonprofit Fresh Artists.

For the past 15 years, his organization has helped fund art supplies for struggling arts programs throughout the Philadelphia school district, turning young artists into philanthropists, commissioning their work for art installations like this one. .

“We have about 2,300 images donated by children, all from very, very low-income schools and all of that donation is going back to schools as supplies,” Chandler Allen said.

Fresh Artists provides access to children and families in underserved communities who may never have been exposed to the world of art.

For Juanita, it has become life changing.

“Everybody’s art is awesome and it means something to them in a different way and you never know what can come out of it,” she said.

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All school district students whose artwork is now featured in the art museum facility will receive a special one-year artist membership to the museum for their families.

Mildred D. Field