Artistic Heights; Southgate’s Kylie Holtorf soars to first place in MnDOT’s art contest

Published 8:51 am Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Normally, the skies are the limit. For Kylie Holtorf, her imagination landed her on cloud nine.

The Southgate Elementary School fourth grader loves to draw and color, and often hopes to get her homework done right away so she can start creating artwork as fast as she can envision them.

Her artistic pizazz brought another layer of excitement to Southgate. Holtorf won first place in the 2019 Minnesota Aviation Art Contest for the ages 6 to 9 category. Drawing inspiration on the theme “My Dream to Fly,” the young visionary learned about aviation while designing her winning submission.

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“I was thinking of the theme,” Holtorf said. “It took a week because I was trying to do my homework too. I’m excited to go to state.”

Kylie Holtorf’s winning submission. Photo provided

Since she won her age bracket, Holtorf’s work will be created into a postcard by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and a certificate will be given to her on Friday during an awards ceremony hosted by MnDOT and the Civil Air Patrol in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota.

“We are so proud of Kylie,” said Southgate Principal Katie Baskin. “Our kids are special and it’s super fun to recognize their talents outside of school. It’s great to have Kylie represent us.”

She’s my main reason

It’s easy to say that art is Holtorf’s favorite subject. She prefers using sharpies and markers, and wishes she could always be creating art.

However, Holtorf credited her love for the subject to her art teacher, Krystal Lennie.

“She’s the main reason why I got into art,” Holtorf said. “I actually don’t want to leave her next year. I always wanted to become a teacher, but now I love art and I can put those two things together. I want to become an art teacher.”

Having an educator inspire and invest into students is something immeasurable, Baskin said, and that those students grow in confidence as well as succeed.

“The best thing you hear is that a teacher fostered a love of learning and bringing out what’s inside of you,” she said. “Ms. Lennie challenges our kiddos and draws out their creativity. We’re super lucky to have her.”

As for her newfound success in competing, Holtorf is a little shy about winning in a public sphere and not really wanting too much attention for it.

However, she’s excited to celebrate with her family at the state level contest.

“I love it,” she added.