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Works of art

July 13, 2016

Art created by students at Normandy Elementary School is on permanent display in the School of Education. Photo credit: Brian Sevier, Ph.D.
Art created by students at Normandy Elementary School is on permanent display in the School of Education. Photo credit: Brian Sevier, Ph.D.

Brian Sevier looked at the walls of the student services office at the School of Education and saw a problem.

“The office was pretty sparse, and there really wasn’t anything reflecting education or schools,” School of Education Associate Dean Sevier told the Columbine Courier. “It looked like any sort of generic office you would walk into. And so we just started talking about what it should look like, and as an office we thought it really should reflect public school students.”

The solution to the problem turned out to be in the hands and imaginations of public school students themselves. Sevier reached out to Karol Gates, director of standards at the Colorado Department of Education, who connected him with visual arts teacher Elizabeth Buhr at Normandy Elementary, a Jefferson County public school. Buhr and Sevier worked together to ensure that each grade at Normandy was represented by at least one piece of art.

Every student was paid for his or her art; an approach that Sevier says teaches the students that their work is valuable. The permanent art exhibit is a point of pride for the students and their families. Some families have already visited the office and Sevier plans to invite all artists for a tour in the fall.

“It’s an honor for us to be able to highlight their work,” Sevier said. “It’s phenomenal.” 

 

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