This year Jeffco is celebrating 50 years of Visual Arts Shows. Perhaps you’ve attended a Jeffco show in the past, and it is very possible that you’ve known a student whose work was displayed either at the Elementary Art Show (at Red Rocks Community College), the Middle School Show (at Lakewood Cultural Center), the High School Show (at the Arvada Center), or at the Equity Show (at the Jeffco Ed Center). Due to the pandemic, there were no live shows this year but we still found a way to celebrate both the history of Visual Arts Shows in Jeffco and the resilience of both our teachers and students, who have had to teach and create under shifting remote and hybrid environments, with limited resources and interrupted instruction. A partnership between the Jeffco Schools Foundation, community donors, teachers and district staff has made possible the ability for student work to be recognized, an excellent example of the Jeffco Generation Skills “Agility and Adaptability” and “Collaboration”.
Jeffco’s Visual Arts teachers' commitment to nurturing creativity and artistic skills from K-12 is why our students in Jeffco are able to produce such amazing work. As we know the arts are important to the development of our students in many ways, as noted by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities: “Decades of research shows strong and consistent links between high-quality arts education and a wide range of impressive educational outcomes.” (2016). What are these benefits to our students? They acquire skills in communication, connect their work to history, develop problem solving skills, are encouraged to be inventive and take risks, and through study and practice become connected to their own culture and cultures throughout the world (Seneca Academy, 2021). In addition, studies have shown that greater arts education has led to fewer disciplinary problems and higher attendance, graduation rates and test scores (Missouri Alliance for Arts Education, 2010).
Though we were saddened not to be able to enjoy the artistic efforts of our K-12 students in person, creating a virtual showplace has had the added benefit of increasing access to their work, as seen by virtual visits from all the family and friends who may not have otherwise been able to travel to an-in person show. Jeffcoarts.com is our website where all of this celebration has come together. It gives visitors an opportunity not just to view student artwork by both school and medium, but a place to learn about what makes the Visual Arts in Jeffco so special. Here one can learn all about the history of the last 50 years, get to know some of our outstanding teachers, and gain appreciation for our sponsors and donors, without whom Visual Arts shows would not be possible. Another great feature of this website is the Guest Book, where visitors can share their thoughts and congratulations and vote for their favorite works. On October 9, the Jeffco Schools Foundation will have a live gala at the Arvada Center celebrating our 50th year, and the top three community selected works will receive a special recognition, one at each level (Elementary, Middle and High School). Please come visit and see for yourself!
Amy H. Flynn, M.A., Assistant Director C&I - Electives
Shannon May, Visual Arts Coordinator
Curriculum & Instruction