Teen's Jazz in the Gardens art piece to grace cover of Miami Herald's weekend section

Kaleen Thompson creates portrait of 3 of event's headliners

By Neki Mohan - Anchor/Reporter

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - A middle school student's artwork is getting major recognition as a special piece created for the Jazz in the Gardens festival will grace the cover of the Miami Herald's weekend section.

"I really like to do things with a lot of color," Kaleen Thompson, 13, told Local 10 News.

Kaleen's paintings and artwork jump off the page.

The teenager is the protégé of Linda Drasel Atkinson, at Norland Middle School in Miami Gardens. The school is a Miami-Dade public magnet school for arts education.

"I am so proud (of her) and found out last Saturday night (that) they were going to use her, and I have been on cloud 9 since," Atkinson said.

Kaleen's rendition of three Jazz in the Gardens headliners -- Morris Day, Jill Scott and LL Cool J -- will grace the cover of the Miami Herald's weekend section.

The musicians are way before Kaleen's time, but she knows LL Cool J from the TV show "Rap Battle" and Scott from movies she's starred in.

Kaleen has won awards locally for her artwork and has been a finalist in national competitions.

"I am really excited, because it is a huge opportunity," she said.

The Jazz in the Gardens festival kicks off Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium.

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