SVVSD’s Unframed Art Show: The Impact of an Annual Tradition


Photo courtesy of the St. Vrain Valley School District website

The promotion flyer for the 2023 art show, outlining information such as the dates, times, and location of the event.

As mundane as an art show may seem to some, having a space dedicated to representing someone’s achievements, much like academic or athletic awards, and giving them a way to present something that they are proud of is incredibly important.

For many years, the St. Vrain Valley School District (SVVSD) has been hosting its annual art show to highlight the original artwork of students across the district.

This year is no different. From April 11 to April 16, St. Vrain’s 2023 Art Show will be held at the Boulder County Fairgrounds and submitted artwork will be showcased.

Entries can be found in many mediums, from drawings and paintings to jewelry, and from nearly all of the SVVSD schools. Last year in the St. Vrain Unframed Student Art Show, entries were submitted from 49 of SVVSD’s 60 schools and education programs, including online programs like LaunchED Virtual Academy, and ranged from grades Kindergarten through 12th.

Having such a wide range of artists and the media they choose to work with is one of the things that makes the District Art Show such a special event.

From the perspective of an artist, someone with a piece on display, or a viewer, many St. Vrain students have enjoyed going to the art shows and seeing the impact they can have on students across the district.

“[The District Art Shows] are well organized, easy to view, and create a great place for young, blossoming artists to receive the important recognition they need from the community,” Sam Haddon, a freshman at Silver Creek High School, said.
Not only is it a good opportunity for people to get a better understanding of an incredible part of St. Vrain’s artistic community, having a piece of their own in the art show can serve as motivation for artists already a part of the community.

“[The art show] can inspire some to try new mediums or some to adapt new styles. It’s a good way to expand some people’s horizons and even get more young people to improve and sometimes even start doing art,” Minami Ohnaka, another one of Silver Creek’s freshman artists, said.
Ohnaka had a piece in the District Art Show last year and noticed how it benefited them as an artist.
“Knowing that people enjoyed seeing my art inspired me to keep trying, and motivated me to try and get my art in again,” Ohnaka stated.

Being in a setting where art can be witnessed by hundreds of people like art shows, can serve as something of a challenge for artists, but more importantly an opportunity for growth.

“You have to find pride and accomplishment in the act of showing because you have no control over the subjective judgements that come,” Anne Torkleson, one of Silver Creek’s art teachers, said.

According to Haddon, events like the art show also work to culminate a sense of community between students in St. Vrain District, and “create deep ties throughout all of the schools within SVVSD.”

“You really feel closer to the other people in the district, just knowing that they’re making art just like you are,” Haddon said.

Overall, the premise of the Digital Art shows have been well received by both the Longmont and St. Vrain Valley communities, as are the district’s art programs.

“Our art programs are overall well supported in the district and the community,” Torkleson said.
“…The public loves to have the artist’s insight into the creation of the work.”

At the end of the day, St. Vrain’s Digital Art Show is a fantastic way for students to feel seen and be recognized for something that they are passionate about, and hopefully this year’s show will do that if not more.