Making a Statement Through Art

Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts student M’Kayla Garner chosen to represent State Senate District


While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, sometimes it takes a brave artist to make a statement through beautiful artwork. Visual arts student M’Kayla Garner is making her statement at the Missouri State Capitol.

A senior art major at Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts, Garner was chosen to represent Missouri State Senate District Nine for the 2018 Senate Art Exhibit. Her piece, aptly named “All Lives Matter,” was chosen by Missouri State Representative Kiki Curls to be displayed in the Art Exhibit starting Feb. 1, 2018 through the end of the year.

Garner’s piece is focused on the importance that all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or sex, are created equal.

“I felt it important to showcase that everyone is equally important,” Garner said. “As human beings, we all have a purpose.”

Originally assigned as a project in her Graphic Arts class, Garner used her own image as the silhouette within the image, which was created using Adobe Illustrator. Garner plans to attend college and study nursing.

The Missouri Senate Art Exhibit showcases fine arts programs in all 34 Senate Districts. Established in 2014, the exhibit is a joint effort between the Missouri Alliance for Arts Education and the Missouri Art Education Association (MAEA) and is sponsored by Senator David Pearce. The exhibit is located on the grounds of the Capitol in the hallway that leads from Senate parking to the Capitol ground-floor entrance.

Elementary and secondary teachers from any arts discipline may submit artwork to MAEA, who then organize and send the creations to each of Missouri’s 34 State Senators. Senators view work from their district and select one image to represent their district. The chosen images are then printed and displayed in frames throughout the year at the Missouri Capitol to promote support for the arts.

“It feels amazing to be chosen as the District Nine artist,” Garner said. “I am proud of my accomplishment.”