Young Jeffco artists finding their voice

Annual show at Foothills Art Center showcases work of Jeffco students

Paul Albani-Burgio
palbaniburgio@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 1/28/20

The new “Power of Process” exhibition at the Foothills Art Center in Golden contains everything from a series of photos of a popping water balloon to monster faces made from recycled cans. But …

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Young Jeffco artists finding their voice

Annual show at Foothills Art Center showcases work of Jeffco students

Posted

The new “Power of Process” exhibition at the Foothills Art Center in Golden contains everything from a series of photos of a popping water balloon to monster faces made from recycled cans.

But while it’s not unusual to see such pieces on display in a gallery, potential visitors might be surprised to know these works were created not by professional artists but rather Jeffco Public Schools students in their art classes.

The new exhibition, which consists entirely of work from students in Kindergarten through 12th grade, is organized around the theme of showcasing and celebrating the experimentation that allows students to find their artistic voice.

“Great arts educators encourage students to experiment well outside their comfort zone,” the exhibit’s curator, Eriq Hochuli, wrote in a statement about the exhibit. “In hosting this show, we want to exhibit a snapshot of those moments, honoring them for the immense importance that they contain.”

The experimental approach to art-making the show aims to highlight is evident in “The Rainbow Kingdom,” a watercolor and sharpie image of a lion created by Wyatt Sievers, a fourth-grader at Three Creeks K-8 in Arvada.

Sievers said that when his teacher tasked his class with “making an animal abstract” he thought of a lion because lions are known for being fierce and dangerous and surprising their prey.

But it was after Sievers drew the lion that the creativity came in.

“I love bright colors and I really wanted to be creative and make it look different from a regular lion so I decided to color it in a rainbow,” he said.

Liana Espinoza, a sixth-grader at the Manning School in Golden, also had to be willing to embrace the unconventional when she created her edited photography piece depicting a girl holding a camera.

To make the piece, Espinoza used software to brighten the colors and add the posterize filter, which limits the number of colors in the shot. She also used a pencil to add highlights to certain spots. First, however, came getting the right image to work with.

“I had to do a ton of different shots to get the right one,” she said.

Kailene Tram, a student at Bear Creek High School in Lakewood, created the piece “Above the Moonlight” by painting a sky onto a piece of wood. The piece’s moon and stars are made of paint but of string that has been stretched between nails attached to the canvas.

“It’s pretty cool to be in here,” said Tram, who aspires to someday do art as a career. “There’s some really professional looking art in here.”

Even prouder than Tram, however, was her father, Jeff.

“The funny thing is when we were coming in tonight I didn’t know she had art in here so I was shocked,” Jeff said. “I was like there’s my daughter’s name on there. It’s pretty cool.”

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