NewArt Art Northwest Kids is an annual exhibition of K-12 student art in the museum's first floor Education Corridor Galleries. 

This year’s theme, Protecting the Northwest’s Natural Beauty, examines our role in caring for our environment. This encompasses recognizing our collective responsibility to preserve the quality and safekeeping of our land, air, water, plants, and animals. Students are encouraged to consider various Oregon ecosystems, such as the forest, high desert, mountains, and coast. The artwork may be in many forms, including painting, prints, digital art, illustration, and collage. Students are required to answer the questions posed in the entry form to provide context about their work. The theme can be connected to Common Core subject areas of history, social studies, science, and language arts. 

The NewArt Northwest Kids exhibition will be on view February 16 - April 28, 2019. Student artists will be honored at an opening reception on Saturday, April 13, 2019, at 11 a.m., followed by a free Family Day.

Download submission form & guidelines

To help you start thinking about some ways you might respond to this theme, some resources and lesson ideas are below


  • Select one of the listed locations in the poem “Dear Oregon”, (1-7) Create a landscape based on the descriptors in the poem. Alter the colors, textures, and patterns present in the actual landscape to create a reimaged fantasy landscape.
  • Have you visited any of the listed locations in the poem “Dear Oregon”? If not, select a location within Oregon that you’ve visited and have fond memories of.  Create a piece of artwork that reflects the memories associated with your selected locations. 
  • In the poem, Paulann Peterson writes a love letter to Oregon. Write your own love letter to Oregon and incorporate your letter or visually depict your letter in a painting or drawing. Include as many aspects of Oregon’s natural landscape as possible.
  • Create a visual map of Oregon highlighting many of the destinations featured in the poem “Dear Oregon”, and/or your personal journey and landmark locations within Oregon
  • Expand upon a natural element featured in the poem through research and a detailed visual study of the object.
  • Create an abstract work of art based upon colors derived from the emotions you associate with a location mentioned in the poem or a location within Oregon that is special to you. Focus on the feelings the location creates rather than specific details.
  • Detail one of the locations mentioned, but leave the location blank. Leave the space where this feature would be placed as negative space or reimagine the location with a completely different natural feature. For example, what if the caldera of Crater Lake no longer held water, but grass or from its depths arose a modified version of the Painted Hills.



This is my love letter to you, my native state.
Why do I love you? Let me count just seven of the ways.

1. You are the Cascade peak cloaked in white that rises above Portland’s skyline—my mountain-temple, shining. You are Mt. Hood. 

2. You are sheer spires of tufa and basalt making their jagged thrust into an easterly sky that’s quickened with sun during the day, widened by whorls of stars at night. You are Smith Rock. 

3. You are primordial plants and bones turned to rock, the fossil beds lying near those hills streaked with reds and golds so vivid, only an artist’s palette could attempt to match their hues. You are the Painted Hills.

4. You are a peak that eons ago emptied itself into the sky, a volcano that left a caldera to fill with rain and snowmelt, making a lake so deep, so clear, so ecstatically blue, it first stuns then feeds my eyes. Crater Lake is a part of who you are.

5. You are a canyon, a massive river’s way to reach the sea, a way cut so deeply that—when they reach the cliff’s bluff—streams must fall hundreds and hundreds of white-misted feet before joining the ocean-bound flow far below. You are the Columbia River Gorge.

6. You are the cluster of peaks that make our own Alps, a mountain range bordered by a gleaming serpentine river, an alpine terrain cupping the glimmer of tree-rimmed lakes. You are the Wallowas.

7. For 363 miles, you are that land’s edge where rivers meet and feed an ocean, a shoreline studded with dune and tide pool, cliff and lighthouse, its entire wave-swept length open to us all. You are our Pacific Coast.

Oregon, my Oregon, you’re a natural—
a seven-wonder, wondrous beauty!

With admiration from a native-born daughter,
— Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita

For additional JSMA curriculum resources visit