The exhibit, established in 2014, is a chance for students from all 34 Senate districts to showcase their high-quality work or performance. It was designed as a joint effort between the Missouri Alliance for Arts Education, the Missouri Art Education Association (MAEA), and the Senate.
This exhibit is very competitive, with more than 1,000 artworks submitted for consideration by K-12 students.
In order to be submitted, a teacher from any arts discipline may take high-quality photos of a work or performance and submit those to the MAEA. The projects are then organized by district and sent to state senators. They view work from their district and select one image to represent them. The chosen images are printed on 12″x16″ paper and displayed in frames throughout the year at the Missouri Capitol.
Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe opened the ceremony, saying the 100- year-old Capitol is covered with art that celebrates Missouri’s history and tells the stories of the state’s greatest challenges and achievements.
Kehoe noted the importance of art as a way of “telling our story” and congratulated the student artists in attendance for using the arts to record today’s stories for future generations. His comments also pointed to the importance of the arts as an economic engine for our state.
“We all got to where we are by standing on the shoulders of our parents, grandparents, and mentors. Your challenge is to be the shoulders for the next generation to stand on to achieve even greater accomplishments,” Kehoe said.
The students were also to meet their state senators before the ceremony in the rotunda, and many senators presented resolutions to the students who were also introduced on the Senate floor.
More information about MAEA and the Senate Student Arts exhibit can be found at its website here.
Brady Hays is a 2023 graduate of the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in History. He is currently attending the University of Missouri School of Law and is on pace to graduate with his JD in 2026. He has been working for the Missouri Times since early March 0f 2022.