Dolls in Denver Public Library Student Art Showcase

Students Explore Home, Family, Celebration, & Identity in Art Showcase

The Denver Art Museum partners with Denver Public Library’s Plaza program to bring creativity and artmaking to five of the local library branches—Hadley, Hampden, Gonzalez, Montbello, and Ross-Barnum. Once a month, students and families in the DPL Plaza program create amazing works of art that are now on display at the Denver Art Museum.

Each art project focuses on a theme that is communicated through the artwork. Art is a powerful way of communicating, especially in the Plaza program, which is a meeting place for immigrant and refugee families at the Denver Public Library.

Piñatas inspired by the DAM's family mascot.

This spring, students explored themes of home, family, celebration, and identity. The projects for home and celebration were collaborative, and the efforts of the group are displayed in the form of bright quilts and festive piñatas. The colorful design of the quilts was based DAM Crazy, a quilt in the DAM collection by Jane Mathews, and students put their own spin on it by representing their cultural heritage through the artistic choices they made. Similarly, the piñatas are a colorful way to celebrate culture and our family mascot at the DAM, Seymour. They will make you smile, and isn’t that what celebration is all about?

To explore the themes of family and identity, students worked more individually but never lost the connection to the group. Dolls were made by each student out of a variety of interesting materials. In the display, they are given life by connecting them to the others in their group. The word “family” is given new meaning as a group of connected individuals. Learning about self-portraits led students to create their own version, showing the inside and outside of who they are. Grouped together, the portraits create their own connected quilt.

Quilts by students inspired by a quilt in the Denver Art Museum collection.

This student showcase will be on display until June 2. Bring your family and friends to see the colorful, meaningful, and thoughtful creations from those in our community.

Hayley Nicholas is the coordinator of teacher and school outreach programs in the department of learning and engagement. She loves the variety of artwork at the DAM and enjoys finding new favorites all of the time.