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NFMAA student to have art shown at Capitol

By Staff | Nov 15, 2017

Makayla Uram is a wizard with a paint brush, and state lawmakers will have the opportunity to see just how talented she is.

Uram, an eighth-grader at North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts, will have one of her paintings displayed on the walls of the state capitol in Tallahassee after her work was chosen as the best in Lee County.

Uram, who has been painting as long as she can remember, said the theme for this year was Florida wildlife, but rather than showing a fish and seagulls, her inspiration took her a little more inland.

“Since alligators are seen a lot here, I chose an alligator and I see a lot of egrets, so I chose an egret because they are such beautiful birds,” Uram said.

The water color painting shows an alligator ready to chomp down on the egret as the bird tries to fly away to safety. Uram said she wanted to put some action into the painting.

The painting, along with the other finalists, was sent to Dr. Douglas Santini, former NFMAA principal and now executive director for school development with the school district.

“It was the way she used the water colors and made it come to life. Most times you see an alligator, it’s straight out. This one had its mouth open,” Santini said. “It was a unique way of presenting a piece of art.”

When Uram found out she had won, it was a shock to her, since there are so many talented artists at her school.

“I was surprised. A lot of the other artists who took part had really good art as well. I’m surprised they didn’t pick another one because I was the only one who did water colors,” Uram said.

Brenda Lown, an art teacher at NFMAA, said Makayla is in many of her classes. She said she is not surprised her work was chosen.

“She is so well-known and has won so many awards. Her work has been displayed at the Lee County Fair, all the art shows and she has won,” Lown said. “There are artists who are as talented, but I believe she’s more dedicated.”

Thomas Millins, current NFMAA principal, said while he’s proud of all his students, Makayla has been a standout.

“For this to be an opportunity for her artwork to be displayed in Tallahassee, it’s a tremendous milestone and a momentous day for her,” Millins said. “Her work will represent Lee County. It shows we have outstanding students and teachers that guide these kids to produce, but the kids have to have the creativity.”

The Legislature passed a bill that said there would be a piece of artwork hanging from all 67 state counties. Only two pieces per school could be entered with home schooled students’ works also accepted.

Uram’s work was presented to Kathleen Larson, a representative for State Rep. Dane Eagle, who will bring the painting to Tallahassee.

Eagle was in committee meetings last week and was unable to make the trip.

“I wish I had as much talent as she does. It’s a piece that exudes Florida and describes what goes on in the Everglades,” Larson said. “He takes pride in bringing things to the Capitol that are from his home area.”

Uram said she wants to pursue art as a profession, bringing it into game design.