Students got to see their art on display with professional art at West Jefferson Elementary School's Night of the Arts.
Families roamed around the school March 10 as they looked at the work of professional artists and students in every grade thanks to a $10,000 Science and Cultural Facilities District Collaborative Grant the school received. Classes at each grade also performed a musical number to round out the night.
The grant has paid for students to take field trips to a variety of places to get inspiration about art such as the Denver Zoo and the Butterfly Pavilion. It also paid for the Cherry Arts Mobile Art Gallery to install a professional art show throughout the school, which will be on display until March 27.
“This is an awesome event,” said principal Wendy Woodland as she prepared to watch the first graders perform. “It’s really meant to merge professional and student art.”
She said Night of the Arts was a staple at West Jeff Elementary several years ago, but staff changes and the pandemic put the event on a hiatus until this year.
Fifth grader Haley Boocher drew a picture of a planet that hung in a display case in the main hallway. She was excited to play the xylophone in the musical performance portion of the evening.
Parents Linda and Randy Boocher were proud that their daughter’s artwork was displayed at the school.
Fourth grader Max Best drew a cartoon interpretation of a fox, his favorite animal.
“I really like nature,” Max explained. “I like it being green, and then you see something orange.”
His mom, Lisa Best, said she liked that the professional art show allowed students to be exposed to a variety of artwork.
Fourth grader Elise Bohn looked at the student artwork in the hallway with her mom, Melissa Bohn. Elise said the event was fun because she could see her friends and other people’s artwork.
Melissa Bohn added that she enjoyed seeing the different mediums and styles, calling them inspiring and great for kids.
Music teacher Samantha Shall said that while the focus of Night of the Arts was artwork, the music added another dimension. The kindergartners and first graders sang songs, third and fifth graders played barred instruments such as xylophones, and fourth graders played recorders.
Shall said the event was a chance for students to showcase the instruments they learn to play in music class.
Fifth grader Marin Loveday said she plays percussion in the school band, especially the xylophone, while dad Brendon Loveday said he loved watching the students perform.
Art teacher Kelly Munro said the grant helped the school bring arts programs to the school that it normally wouldn’t have.
“It’s been great,” she said. “To see the joy on their faces makes it worth it.”