In recognition of her award-winning creations, Kamia Smalls took center stage at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County’s Cartersville Unit. On Wednesday, the 11-year-old received a state resolution, which paid tribute to her “artistic excellence.”
“The resolution was authored by me from the Georgia House of Representatives and it recognizes Kamia for having her artwork displayed in … the Booth Western Art Museum ‘Kids Cowboy Up!’ exhibit,” state Rep. Matthew Gambill said. “It also recognizes her for being entered into and winning at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Southeastern Regionals Art Contest and ultimately the Boys & Girls Clubs of America National Arts Contest.
“Out of nearly 4,000 entries, Kamia’s ‘Honeybee’ was selected as one of the 33 winning pieces in the National Arts Contest. Her artwork was featured in the printmaking category for the 6 to 9 age group.”
The resolution proclaims “the state of Georgia looks with great anticipation toward the future of this bright and promising young citizen” and notes she is “extended sincere best wishes for continued success and happiness.”
For Smalls, being honored with the state resolution was a thrilling experience.
“She was surprised and borderline shocked when notified of the state proclamation,” said Bailey Jenkins, program director for the Boys & Girls Clubs’ Cartersville Unit. “She told her parents that ‘Representative Gambill would be presenting a state proclamation to me!’ She told the staff that ‘I am so thankful for this tremendous honor and to be recognized in this manner.’”
As a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs’ Cartersville Unit, Kamia participated in the Booth’s 2019 Kids Cowboy Up! program, which offered hands-on lessons from the museum’s education outreach coordinator.
The effort culminated in an exhibit at the Booth — from Nov. 12, 2019, to Jan. 5 — featuring 66 pieces created by members of the Boys & Girls Clubs and Hands of Christ after-school program. Kamia’s five pieces of art were the most in the exhibit from an individual artist.
In addition to Smalls’ “Honeybee,” the resolution also highlights another one of her works in the “Kids Cowboy Up!” exhibit, which won the Booth’s Purchase Award. Titled “Colorful Sunset,” the painting is composed of a bevy of textures and colors.
“The reason sunsets are my favorite to draw is because I like to use different colors to bring my art to life,” Kamia told The Daily Tribune News in late September. “The ‘Sunset’ is a painting with many different textures. I created it with acrylic paints of all colors.
“I did not come up with the design on my own. I was inspired by a picture my art teacher Mrs. Lynnette Torres Ivey drew herself and showed our art class,” she said, referring to Ivey’s example of an Andy Warhol-inspired painting. “I want people who view the ‘Sunset’ to think of peace. A sunset is God’s creation and it’s the end of a beautiful day.”
Opened in 2003, the Booth is known worldwide for its extensive collection of contemporary Western art.
The 120,000-square-foot venue at 501 Museum Drive became an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution in 2006. The museum offers a variety of exhibit spaces, some of which include the Civil War gallery; Sculpture Court; a presidential gallery; the “Picturing America” photography gallery; and the interactive children’s gallery, Sagebrush Ranch.
Along with being a state representative, Gambill also is the chairman of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County’s board of directors.
“Kamia is a talented young lady and I am so proud of her,” he said. “There is no doubt that she has a great future ahead of her. Since beginning my service as a volunteer board member, I have been constantly amazed at the abilities of our club members.
“They excel in so many ways and I love to find ways to recognize their talents. Kamia is very deserving of this recognition.”