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Submitted photo Woodbury resident Karen Flores, a seventh grader at Battle Creek Middle School in St. Paul, will have her artwork featured on electronic billboards through June 2 as part of the Flint Hills International Children's Festival and Clear Water ArtWalk.

A billboard-sized accomplishment

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A billboard-sized accomplishment
Woodbury Minnesota 8420 City Centre Drive 55125

Woodbury resident Karen Flores started doing art about two years ago.

"I just like to paint anything," said Flores, a seventh grader at Battle Creek Middle School in St. Paul.


This month, Flores' artwork, a mask, will be seen high above the city when it is featured on electronic billboards through June 2 as part of the 2013 Flint Hills International Children's Festival.

The Flint Hills International Children's Festival, presented by the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, aims to "engage young minds in the performing arts by bringing top international and regional talent to Minnesota children and families," according to its website.

The festival not only includes activities and performances, but it also features the Clear Channel ArtWalk, which showcases more than 550 pieces of student artwork in downtown St. Paul on storefronts and skyways.

Flores' artwork, as well as 25 other students' pieces, will be rotated through a number of billboards in St. Paul, Minnetonka, Shoreview, Eagan, Minneapolis, Mounds View and Maplewood.

"It's exciting," Flores said, adding that she is also a little nervous about having so many people see her artwork.

Mask magic

Flores' mask, which depicts the face of a tiger, was created as part of a week-long residency with a local Mexican artist.

Flores said she was inspired to paint the tiger after seeing a picture on the Internet.

"I liked the colors and what it looked like," she said.

The students' masks were then displayed at the Ordway Center as part of an event celebrating Mexican art.

The Ordway Center had asked to hold onto a few of the masks to see if any of them would be selected for the ArtWalk, said Mary Anne Quiroz, the site coordinator at Battle Creek Middle School.

"Karen's was just awesome," Quiroz said. "It had a lot of colors, a lot of detail - it stood out amongst all the pieces. You can tell she really took her time to create the piece."

Even though art is just a hobby for Flores, she said she might consider participating in the ArtWalk again next year.

"It's fun," she said.

Karen Flores' mask will be featured on electronic billboards through June 2. The billboards will be located at: Highway 7 and Highway 101 in Minnetonka facing west; I-694 and Lexington Road in Shoreview fasting west; I-494 and Knob Road in Eagan facing east; Hennepin Avenue and 7th Street South in Minneapolis facing south; 7th Street South and Hennepin Avenue facing southeast; I-35W and Highway 10 in Mounds View facing north; Highway 36 and White Bear Avenue in Maplewood facing east; I-94 and White Bear Avenue in St. Paul facing south; Highway 52 and Wentworth Avenue in West St. Paul facing south; and Highway 52 and Wentworth Avenue in West St. Paul facing north.

Amber Kispert-Smith
Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.
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