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Student art POPs at Foothills Art Center

Power of Process exhibit features Jeffco students

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For John Luna, it started out as childhood scribbles on a piece of paper.

“And it grew from there,” he said. “I like being able to imagine something, then see it come to life on paper.”

Now, many years later, the eighth grader at Carmody Middle School in Lakewood has a piece titled “The Pumphouse,” which is a colored pencil work of art depicting the Titanic’s pumphouse, displayed at the Foothills Art Center.

Luna is one of 70 students who has a work of art on display for Power of Process: A Jeffco School Exhibition. The show features artwork by K-12 students who all attend Jefferson County schools.

Formerly known as Foot by Foot, the exhibition is in its fifth year at Foothills Art Center, and it grows every year, said Eriq Hochuli, the art center’s exhibitions manager.

The exhibition validates their efforts as young artists, Hochuli said.

“The point of the show is to offer them a real-world, professional gallery experience,” Hochuli said. “Anything we can do to encourage them is worth all the work.”

The students get the opportunity to have their art displayed in a real a gallery, and their show runs in conjunction with a professional artist’s exhibit — the Foothills Art Center’s Members’ Show, said Roy Anneberg, an art teacher at Carmody Middle School.

“The students get to experience what it would be like to be a professional artist,” he said.

And, Anneberg added, the students’ art is part of an exhibition that features a mix of different grade levels and schools. The students enjoy seeing the talent of their fellow Jeffco students, Anneberg said.

Each student submits a creative statement with their artwork that outlines how they got to the end result, said Cathy Moore, an art teacher at Sierra Elementary School in Arvada. The statement is not always about the literal process of creating the art, she added. Often, it’s how or what they were inspired by to create the piece, she said.

That’s the power of process, or POP, Moore said. These days, students are very involved with computers and instant gratification, she said.

“We try to teach them to slow down, look and see and experiment,” Moore said. “Art allows students to express themselves with a lot of different media.”

Shelton Elementary School’s art teacher Amber BonDurant said that since the land the school was built on was donated by an artist, the Golden-area school has always had an expansive art background and community.

“We make a big deal out of it,” she said. And “the look on the students’ face when they see their art in this environment is priceless.”

Casey Hume, a sixth grader at Shelton, has a marker-and-crayon panda displayed at the Power of Process exhibition. She’s been interested in art since she was probably 2 or 3 years old, she said.

“Art is creative and expressive,” Hume said. And “since we haven’t had our fate decided yet, it’s good to find all sorts of different hobbies.”

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