The Youngest ArtWalk

Allie Burke

Allie Burke, a Boca Ciega High School sophomore, talks about a box she made in art class that holds memories of her dog, Koko.

Twelve-year-old artist Riley Pitzen has no small shoes to fill, artistically speaking. His dad, Tom, created the Waterfront District sculpture/sign, two pieces of art in Clymer Park and the skater sculpture outside the 49th Street Neighborhood Center. His son has his first art showing at the City of Imagination’s “Celebration of Our Youth,” which opened with a reception during the January 2 ArtWalk.

In keeping to his own style, the younger Pitzen stayed with two-dimensional artwork for the show. He used watercolor pencils and white pencil for his pieces.

Julion Burnett, 15, talks about his air-dried and oven-baked clay sculptures  at the City of Imagination’s “Celebration of Our Youth” art show and reception at the January 2 First Friday event. The event featured a handful of young artists with ties to Gulfport.

Julion Burnett, 15, talks about his air-dried and oven-baked clay sculptures at the City of Imagination’s “Celebration of Our Youth” art show and reception at the January 2 First Friday event. The event featured a handful of young artists with ties to Gulfport.

Not all the burgeoning artists in the show have locally famous artist parents. Allie Burke, a Boca Ciega High School sophomore, had several sculptures on display. One of them commemorates a dearly departed dog, Koko. Inside Burke keeps memories of Koko.

Julion Burton, a 15-year-old who recently left the area to move across Tampa Bay, has the largest collection of artwork on display at the show.

“I like to express my feelings,” he said as he talked about his favorite of the clay pieces he brought to the show. “If I feel sad or happy, I like to put my mood into clay.”

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