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Jeffco Launches Virtual Art Galleries

Jeffco Launches Virtual Art Galleries
Posted on 05/20/2020
Jeffco student art show goes onlineFor nearly 50 years, Jefferson Public Schools has hosted outstanding juried middle and high school student art shows which have garnered both state and national attention.

In response to cancellation of this year’s Art Shows, necessitated by social distancing requirements, a JeffcoArts website has been launched to house virtual galleries organized by school, showcasing work that would have been submitted to these juried shows, as well as artwork created under the guidance and expertise of Jeffco teachers during remote learning.

Though it is impossible to replace the experiences that have been enjoyed by the Jeffco community for decades, a virtual environment for displaying artwork allowed the tradition of honoring student artistry and visual arts instruction to continue without interruption. Perhaps Pete Cunis, graphic design instructor at Warren Tech expressed this best: “Thank you for putting the art show sites up, they look great and it’s something nice to see when everything else has been postponed, cancelled, or has disappeared. Awesome!”

JeffcoArts.com was created through a collaborative effort between the Jeffco Schools Foundation, district employees, teachers, and students. The Foundation, whose generous support has made possible four of the Jeffco Public Schools shows for many years, provided website funding. Participation was optional, and it is a testament to the dedication of the Jeffco Public Schools visual art teachers that 36 schools were able to gather images of artwork that were either in closed buildings or with students, while negotiating teaching in the new remote learning environment. The artwork was uploaded and organized by district staff into this new website via a partnership made possible by Jeffco Public Schools’ Executive Internship Program. Cecelia Kenehan, a junior at Columbine High School, was pivotal in construction of the website through this program.

The creation of this website is another example of the Jeffco Public Schools Generations Skill “Agility and Adaptability” put into action in this time of great educational change, and will live for years to support the arts in Jeffco.

The galleries of student work will be prominent on the website through this summer, after which the site will add content to focus on the tremendous instruction and experiences available to Jeffco Public Schools students in not just visual arts, but also music and theatre. Visitors to the site can not only enjoy the artistic talents of Jeffco students, but also learn about the history of the Jeffco middle and high school art shows and the support these events have received from the community.

Among the nearly 4,000 visitors to the site to date, Karen Nash said “THANK YOU for sharing these works. I love seeing the variety and the kids deserve to have their work shown.”

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