Fiber, paper mache, painting, ceramics, mixed media, and fashion are all represented in this year’s Citywide Elementary Arts Showcase at the Denver Art Museum. The artworks by these Denver Public School students highlight the creative and expressive nature of their art education. Many of the teachers were here to help install the showcase to highlight the imagination and craftsmanship of their students. Their love for what they do and pride in their students’ work was clear in our conversations.
– Allison Pickett Comer, Ashley Elementary
As an art teacher, I look forward to this day every year. Being able to see the art created and showcased is as powerful as any training…just being able to see the idea generation throughout the district is inspiring.
Collaborations & Solo Projects
In addition to a variety of media, the showcase includes multiple collaborative works created by entire classes or groups of students. One that will jump out at you (no pun intended) is the giant knit spider behind the security desk.
The art teacher at Edison Elementary, Christine Loehr, described her fourth- and fifth-grade students’ process, and how they used competition and each other’s strengths to achieve the final product:
“First, we told the story of Arachne and Athena. Then, we got the kids excited about choosing a team—Arachne, the mortal, or Athena, the goddess. They chose colors for their weaving that best represented the mortal or the goddess.… We created the spider out of chicken wire and then we wrapped all of the Arachne weavings. And then the Athena weavings were the web coming down, capturing her. [One student] took it upon herself to make a comic. And then the artist statement was written by three fifth-grade boys.”
Both the art teacher and student teacher, Jenny Drake, highly encourage you to read the artist statement while you’re in the space. The students’ language is impressive, and serves as a reminder that art is “also just a fun thing to do in general,” as they state near the end of the statement.
You’ll find delightful artwork that will make you smile and laugh, as well as artwork that is poignant and deep.
Reception on May 19
The showcase is on display on the lower level of the North Building through Sunday, May 21 during regular museum hours. Students will be honored at the DAM with a reception on Friday, May 19 beginning at 5 pm with remarks 5:30-6:30 pm.
Entry to the showcase is free; admission to the rest of the museum requires a ticket.