Impact Stories

  • Jennifer Flowers & Ali Krick

Seeing Art in a Whole New Way

While this school year may have looked a bit different, LPIE Art has never shone brighter. With students at home, LPIE Art Instructors on camera, and a mix of unique art supplies, creativity has ultimately prevailed! Read on to learn more about this year’s Virtual Art Fair, LPIE’s very first Outdoor Art Scavenger Hunt, and how the LPIE TK-5 Art Instructors have continued to make a difference in the lives of young artists during this unprecedented year.

- Community Teen Mural Project 'Our Home'

By Laura Dutto and 13 Lamorinda youth artists.

What will the Art Fair look like this year?

The LPIE Art Fair is a beloved end-of-year tradition, and it has been reimagined this year! Colorful virtual Padlets have taken the place of multi-purpose rooms, and LPIE is bringing its first online Art Museum to homes across Lafayette this May. Students are encouraged to post a photo on their school Padlet of their favorite LPIE Art piece, past or present, or their own masterpiece celebrating LPIE’s 40th Birthday. This year, families will have the unique opportunity to view students’ art at all four elementary schools as well as Stanley, which takes this year’s Art Fair to a whole new level.

What is the LPIE Outdoor Art Scavenger Hunt?

LPIE has created its very first Outdoor Art Scavenger Hunt, which allows students and families to go on an outdoor adventure and learn more about art around Lafayette. Students should look in their Friday Folders or visit to find a Scavenger Hunt Map. Clues have been provided by LPIE’s very own Art Instructors to help lead students to their favorite art pieces around town. The Scavenger Hunt is for students of ALL ages, and families can get started at any time!

How have LPIE TK-5 Art lessons looked different this year?

Throughout the year, the LPIE Art Instructors have been hard at work delivering video art lessons and pre-made art supply packets to all the different grade levels at the four elementary schools. Avery Adams, a 4th grader at Lafayette Elementary School, shared, “I feel calm when I get to do art. I was nervous that we wouldn’t get to do art at all this year, and so, I was really happy to see the videos. It’s been one of my favorite parts of this year!” Avery’s brother Mason Adams, a 1st grader at Lafayette Elementary School, added, “I like that we can learn about artists and draw with my family. Sometimes, we wait until after school or after dinner and do this together. I like watching the videos and doing art with my grandparents sometimes. My favorite was Rene Margritte!” While students and teachers miss being together in the classroom this year, and art supplies may look different, the process of creating art continues to thrive. Kirsten Jensen-Horne, LPIE Art Chair, said, “Students and teachers have had to work within many unusual/atypical constraints this year, and yet, many have risen to the challenge and created wonderful pieces of art.”

How does LPIE Art benefit students, specifically this year?

When creating art, students have an opportunity to be creative problem solvers, to think outside of the box, and to reimagine what they thought was possible. Ms. Jensen-Horne shared, “Art is a subject that inherently has lots of room for self-expression and that allows kids to become absorbed in the present moment while creating art.” This year, kids have had the gift of time, as the video lessons allow students more time to work on their art and stop and start the video as needed. “Having the ability to start and stop working on a project allows kids to work as quickly or as slowly as they’d like, and/or to go back and do a project again at another time. And that freedom to work at one’s own pace allows for better self-expression in the resulting art,” continued Ms Jensen-Horne. While LPIE Art may look a little different this year, its ability to empower and inspire students, while sparking their imaginations, still remains strong.

How does LPIE support the TK-5 Art program?

LPIE currently has an experienced and dedicated team of ten Art Instructors who are providing art lessons for the four elementary schools and Stanley. LPIE has budgeted more than $100,000 to support the TK-5 Art program this year, which includes funding for both instruction and supplies.

Where can I find the TK-5 LPIE Art lessons?

It is never too late to grab a paintbrush or a box of crayons! All the TK-5 Art lessons can be found on the LPIE website at After clicking on “TK-5 Science, Music, Art” (under “What We Fund”), families can meet their students’ LPIE Instructors and find a number of creative art lessons across all grade levels. Despite this year’s challenges, LPIE Art Instructors have continued to inspire and support students in using their imagination, believing in themselves, and seeing art in a whole new way!