As final days of the school year came to a close, families and friends of elementary students were treated to an annual year-end tradition in Lafayette – the LPIE art fairs.
Held during each elementary school’s open house night, the art fairs display works of art that the students worked on during their LPIE art classes.
“It’s an opportunity for the students to choose their favorite piece of LPIE art and display it for their peers and parents to see,” said Sheryl Platt, who is the art chairperson for the LPIE Board and oversees the art fair at Lafayette Elementary.
This year, LPIE had 20 art instructors give classes in the four elementary schools and Stanley Middle School. Most of the classes are held every other week for an hour, with many of the instructors getting assistance from parent volunteers to help manage the projects.
For the art fair, each student gets to choose one piece of art from their portfolio that they want to display. The work is then mounted on colored paper, labeled with the student’s name, teacher and grade, and hung in the school’s multi-purpose room by parent volunteers who work diligently to transform the space into a temporary art gallery – no small feat considering the number of students in the district.
“Burton Valley hangs up over 800 pieces of art which is pretty amazing,” said Platt.
Burton Valley 5th grader Kelly Kilpatrick displayed a landscape painting which showed the shading techniques that she learned from her LPIE art instructor Sue Scott.
"We learned how to shade in this particular picture and learned a lot from our LPIE teacher Mrs. Sue," she said.
At Lafayette Elementary, large portable screens were put up to accommodate the large number of works shown. Art chair Platt said she was particularly thankful for all of the parent volunteers who helped her set up and take down the art displays this year.
Rows of artwork turn Lafayette Elementary’s multi-purpose room into an art gallery.
LPIE art instructor Jenny Berten, who gives LPIE art classes to third graders at Lafayette Elementary, said the annual fair is one of her favorite events of the school year.
“The LPIE Art Fair is a celebration of our community's dedication to the arts in our public schools,” said Berten.
Parents around the district noted how impressed they were with the wide range of styles and techniques that the students learned throughout the year.
"The representation of the art,diversity of the projects that they offer and teach and the diversity of mediums they use is incredible!" said Burton Valley parent Ali Platto. Platto’s daughter Skylar who is in 3rd grade, displayed a self-portrait that she did in her LPIE art class, which she said was her favorite subject in school this year.
Skylar Platto proudly shows off her LPIE art project.
“We learn so much and it is really fun,” said Skylar.
Happy Valley parent Rachel Blatt agreed, noting how enthusiastic all of the students were in sharing their projects at the school’s art fair.
“The kids took great pride in showing off their creations to parents and sharing how they learned to create their masterpieces,” said Blatt.