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Local doctor started art contest for kids to share positive messages during pandemic

Matias Jaramillo, a fifth grader at Oak Creek elementary, was looking out at his backyard pond when he got the idea for a painting that would land him second place in a coronavirus art competition.

He said that ducks land in his pond about twice a day.

"When I was brainstorming for ideas the ducks landed there," Matias said. He noticed how the ducks caused ripples in the water. SUBMITTED PHOTO: EUGENIA ALVAREZ - Matias Jaramillo

"What if the duck was the coronavirus and the ripples were the people?" he thought.

With that idea, he went to work on his art submission.

The contest, created by Dr. Christopher Cirino, an Infectious Disease Specialist at Adventist Health, was designed to give kids a chance to share their feelings about the pandemic.

Matias' finished product? A painting that depicts two scenarios — one in which a rock falls into a pond, causing a ripple effect in the water, and one in which there is no rock, and the pond is calm.SUBMITTED PHOTO: EUGENIA ALVAREZ - Matias' artwork, which placed second in the contest.

Matias used the rock being dropped in a pond as a metaphor of what the coronavirus does to communities.

"The message is the coronavirus is a strong virus and it's very easy to spread so we need to stay home and stay safe," he said.

"I want people to listen to the message that I'm saying and not just ignore it … People are thinking this is a joke and I'm really against that."

He talked about how a lot of people's parents and grandparents are in the hospital because of the virus.

"I hope my work inspires some people," he said.

Matias' interest in art comes from his mom, Eugenia Alvarez, who's an artist.

Alvarez said she was excited for Matias when she learned he earned second place.

"He worked really hard for that and I was very proud," she said.

View all the winners' art here https://yourhealthforumbydrcirino.org/childrens-art-contest/


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