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A horse is where her art is
by Jessica Garcia
Oct 04, 2009 | 2415 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
<a href= mailto:norme@dailysparkstribune.com>Tribune/Nathan Orme</a> - Rebekkah Holmes visits with Las Vegas, the horse she drew for a contest held by Jack and Jill magazine. Rebekkah won the contest and her drawing was featured on the magazine's cover. Las Vegas lives in a pasture across from Rebekkah's house.
Tribune/Nathan Orme - Rebekkah Holmes visits with Las Vegas, the horse she drew for a contest held by Jack and Jill magazine. Rebekkah won the contest and her drawing was featured on the magazine's cover. Las Vegas lives in a pasture across from Rebekkah's house.
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<a href= mailto:norme@dailysparkstribune.com>Tribune/Nathan Orme</a> - Rebekkah Holmes, a third grader at Lena Juniper Elementary School in Sparks, shows the cover of the magazine featuring her winning drawing.
Tribune/Nathan Orme - Rebekkah Holmes, a third grader at Lena Juniper Elementary School in Sparks, shows the cover of the magazine featuring her winning drawing.
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Rebekkah Holmes loves to visit Las Vegas, er, the horse, that is – not the city.

Whenever she gets the chance, Rebekkah likes to walk over to the pasture across from her house and spend time with one of her favorite friends. She's also become close to another horse, Magic, in the same pasture.

"I like them a lot," Rebekkah said. "They're my favorite animals. Magic is a little picky. Well, she may not be so picky and she's kind of shy. She isn't as get-up-close as Las Vegas is."

But when she's not accompanying the equestrians, the third-grade student who attends Lena Juniper Elementary School also delights in drawing pictures, a talent that helped Rebekkah to win first place in the 2009 U.S. Kids Cover Art contest.

Rebekkah's depiction of a girl standing next to a horse in a pasture in front of barbed wire was featured on the cover of the September/October issue of Jack and Jill, a U.S. Kids magazine published by the Saturday Evening Post Society.

"With our kids, we've always gotten them subscriptions to magazines," said Lujean Holmes, Rebekkah's mother. "The National Geographic Kids is fabulous. There's just a whole bunch of different magazines that say, 'This month, send in...' We waste stamps. But this is one stamp we didn't waste."

Many of Rebekkah's drawings, for which she uses colored pencils or crayons mostly, end up on the family refrigerator, she said.

"I don't think our fridge would stand without them," Lujean chuckled.

Lujean said watching television isn't an especially favorite pastime in her house. Everybody enjoys reading or drawing.

Rebekkah, however, also has taken up the regular lead pencil and does some writing. Last year, she wrote and illustrated her own 22-page book.

Rebekkah gave a simple synopsis of her story.

"(It's about) a girl who's really excited about camp and then finds out about how much fun it would be," Rebekkah explained. "When they (the heroine and her friends) get there, they meet this snotty girl and they all think it won't be as much fun as they thought and the girl ends up breaking her leg because of the snotty girl. They left and took her to the hospital to make sure it wouldn't break anymore."

"Her friend ended up not being snotty anymore," Lujean added.

Rebekkah's teacher gave her some extra help in turning the story into a book.

"Her teacher helped by binding it and stitching a cover," she said. "I thought it was neat that the teachers would take the time to spend with children that are a little more accelerated."

Lujean, who works at Juniper, also had to petition a sixth grade teacher to allow Rebekkah to take a spelling test to be a part of the schoolwide spelling bee last year.

"(Rebekkah) didn't want the third-grade words, she wanted the fourth-grade words," Lujean said. "Her sister got a 98; she got a 99. Her sister was in fourth grade last year. She was in second grade."

The student's mother said the school's art enrichment program helped her 9-year-old with her skills. Every month, an art professional visits the school for an hour after school to help students develop their drawing skills with pencils, markers or chalk and teaches them to how to perfect their use of color or shading.

Principal Bill Burt said the program is popular and helpful for his students beyond the classroom curriculum.

"I always think the fine arts help kids what they learn," Burt said.

As part of the recognition for Rebekkah in the U.S. Kids Cover Art contest, Juniper will receive $1,500 in art supplies in Rebekkah's name.

Burt said the school will soon host an assembly to honor Rebekkah.

"She's a very talented little girl," Burt said.

But Rebekkah's ambitions won't stop at just making books or winning art contests.

"I also plan to become a scientist and find a way to make paper without trees," she said.
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