When her teachers talk about Sanfordville Elementary School fourth grader Stella Muehlbauer, it’s more than her artistic talent that they mention.
It’s also her attitude and enthusiasm.
“Teaching Stella is such a joy,” her art teacher Leah Mednick said. “I would call Stella an art cheerleader because her love for art and positive outlook is so contagious. She loves sharing ideas with classmates and encouraging her peers during art class.”
Music teacher Alison Echevarria had similar observations.
“Stella is amazing,” Echevarria said. “She’s a true leader and a hard worker. She’s a very talented musician and shows genuine excitement and passion for what she does. She’s very easy going and quick to help out her classmates and friends.”
Mermaids and dragons
Stella enjoys art so much that she paints her own projects at home in addition to her class assignments. She likes painting with acrylics and watercolor pencils because of the way she can blend the colors. Landscapes are her favorite subject.
“I like to do a picture each day at home,” said Stella, who wants to be a painter or a musician when she grows up. “I also like to draw and do sketches. I like to draw fantasy creatures. Sometimes I draw mermaids or dragons.”
Stella’s favorite project at school was a self-portrait with a mask on a folded piece of paper. When the paper was unfolded, there was a version without the mask.
“Stella is one of those students who makes thoughtful decisions about her artwork, takes her time to plan them out and then create her ideas into a reality,” Mednick said. “Just by looking at Stella’s artwork, you can see she is talented. But what inspires me most about Stella is the drive she has to practice art. She often tells me about all her art supplies at home and the projects she’s been working on after school or on the weekends.”
‘Reaching your fingers out really far’
Stella is also a talented musician. Last year she learned the recorder in school and played “Old Town Road” on the instrument at the Sanfordville Talent Show. This year she’s learning the clarinet in band.
“I like the sound of the clarinet,” said Stella. “But it was hard to get started. The hardest part was getting my fingers adjusted to it. At first it felt like you were reaching your fingers out really far.”
Stella was part of the Girls on the Run program in the fall and completed a 3.1-mile run in November. She plans to join GOTR again in the spring.