June 17, 2019 Jerry Touslee

Field Day: Inspiring Denver’s Next Generation of Artists

Not a day goes by when our team of art consultants and curators aren’t inspired by the creativity of Denver’s arts scene. We consider ourselves fortunate to belong to such a supportive community that believes in art’s power to generate ideas, make connections and tell stories.

Since founding NINE dot ARTS in 2009, we’ve connected thousands of aspiring and established artists with hundreds of client projects, allowing a shared vision to transform once ordinary spaces into immersive, experiential and unique destinations all around the country.

If we want to keep doing what we love – and of course we do! – it’s our responsibility as a member of the arts community to inspire the next generation of artists by showing them just how engaging and fun art can be.

We recently celebrated our ninth anniversary. As part of our celebration, we hosted an art supply drive in partnership with Think 360 Arts, a Denver-based nonprofit organization dedicated to leading Colorado in sustaining the arts as essential to all learning. We were blown away by the response from local, national and even international artists, clients, partners and neighbors, who donated hundreds of dollars’ worth of new art supplies. Our office quickly filled up with paints, brushes, colored pencils, chalk pastels, canvases, sketch books and more.

While it’s one thing to collect and deliver donated art supplies, we knew that collaborating with a local school would give us a chance to spend time – and create – with some of Denver’s next generations of artists.

We’re so grateful that Trevista at Horace Mann, an ECE-5 school just blocks from the NINE dot ARTS office, answered our call. It was evident as we walked through the halls and into the art room that the school’s administrators and educators are whole-heartedly committed to enriching the lives of their students, including through the arts.

Taking cues from the school’s focus on social emotional learning, we put the art supplies right to use during the school’s end-of-year field day. Volunteers from NINE dot ARTS and Think 360 Arts guided students through an engaging exercise that had them take watercolor paper, oil pastels and watercolor paints to create something especially unique to them. In a show of artistic expression, the students flexed their creative muscles by choosing words and colors that signified what love, friendship, compassion, perseverance and kindness meant to them.

Over the summer, Kat Colburn, the school’s art teacher, will combine the individualized artwork into an emblematic sign of togetherness. This truly inspirational “art quilt” will greet students as they return to school in August. What a great way to start the new school year!

This memorable experience for our team not only highlighted the strength of Denver’s artistic community, but also showcased the educational value of art in action. It was a pleasure getting to know the students and staff at Trevista at Horace Mann – we hope the supplies help the school promote creativity next school year and beyond.