​Spoon River College art student Melody Barnes of Canton had a good day at the Fulton County Town and Country Art Show held March 11 at the Donaldson Community Center. Barnes took first place in the Amateur Division with her charcoal drawing “My Beating Heart,” and second place in the Popular Vote with another charcoal drawing entitled “Have a Heart.”

This isn’t Barnes first blue ribbon from this art show. She also captured first place for a graphite drawing of her cat Harley when she was just a freshman at Canton High School. Barnes was a member of the art club throughout her four years of high school, and served as President during her senior year.

Barnes has a goal of becoming an art therapist and plans to transfer to Illinois State University after completing her associate degree at Spoon River College. “Psychology and art are two of my favorite subjects so I would love to combine them in order to help people.”

Art therapy requires a master’s degree, but Barnes says that’s not a problem. “I’m excited to keep going. I want to work with children and teens, hopefully in hospitals, but I’m willing to try anything and go anywhere.”

Barnes credited Canton HS art teacher Marnie Eskridge with helping her try new things and SRC art teacher Jamie Kotewa with continually pushing her out of her comfort zone, but says the real inspiration for her art came from her sister while growing up. “She always did art and I wanted to be just like her.”

While at Spoon River College, Barnes has been a member of STAGE (SRC Theatre Artists Group for Education) and was cast in the spring play “Here We Are.” She is also a member of the Esports program.

Melody Barnes