Explore Our Students' Creativity

Student Art Showcase

Explore Our Staffs' Creativity

Spotlight on Student Artists

Norma Amezola

Norma Amezola

Best in Show Award Winner

Isaiah Nelson

Isaiah Nelson

Creativity Award Winner

Nate Wilson

Nate Wilson

Craftsmanship Award Winner

Tylie Romero

Tylie Romero

Honorable Mention

Chloe Carrillo

Chloe Carrillo

Honorable Mention

Alma Núñez

Alma Núñez

Honorable Mention

Corbin Searcy

Corbin Searcy

Honorable Mention

JCMS Art Show:

On a sunny evening in late April, the Jefferson County Middle School Commons was transformed into an art exhibit. The hum of excitement and anticipation filled the air as community members saw the hard work and creativity on display of more than 150 students and staff members. 

Parents and other family members had their phones out to capture the moment. Students posed in front of their pieces of artwork while their loved ones snapped photos to record this memory. 

There was a wide array of subjects that our students focused their efforts on to create and try to bring to life. Some of the creations featured elaborate drawings of animals, sports, flowers, everyday items like light bulbs or toothpaste, mythical creatures like dragons, or beloved video game or tv show characters.

It was the first art show the school has hosted in more than 20 years. Art teacher, Eliza Raines, is in her first year at JCMS and thought it was important for the students to experience the feeling of putting their work on display for more than just her to see. 

“It’s one thing to create your work and have your teacher look at it and your friends in class look at it,” Raines said. “To put your work on display for your community and your peers and your family though offers such a unique opportunity for them to show off skills that they don’t normally get to show off.” 

The diversity of mediums and styles on display was a testament to the richness of the students’ artistic journeys. People could view the different art mediums from drawings, paintings, sculptures, lego creations, photographs, mixed-media art, hand-made clothing, jewelry, and more. Proving art is not limited to just one or two different mediums, especially for middle school students.

“I was so surprised and like pleasantly shocked by the turnout,” Raines said. “To be able to get to meet especially the families, I got to meet a lot of younger siblings and a lot of parents that maybe have been preoccupied during other family nights. It offered a really good opportunity to meet everybody.” 

Doors opened for the audience at 5:30pm, but the main event of the show was recognizing the winners. Seven different students were honored for their work. The categories were: Best in Show, Creativity, Craftsmanship, and Honorable Mentions. 

Raines knew the task of judging the student’s work had to be done by a panel of judges with a wide array of artistic backgrounds. The three judges wish to remain anonymous but what we know is they are not short on artistic experience. The three judges all work with different mediums with one being an animator, one being a painter, and one being a ceramicist. 

The three of them blind judged each piece of artwork, meaning all they had to judge was the art piece itself and the statement from the artist. They did not know the student’s name, grade or any other identifiable information.

“We had three artists that were judges who have been artists for the least amount was about 10 years the most is 25 years,” Raines said. 

At last, the moment came to announce the winners. Raines stepped on stage and addressed the crowd. First, she introduced herself and thanked everyone who came out to the show. After that, she started announcing each winner, starting with the honorable mentions then naming off the winners for the three different categories. 

Each honorable mention winner received a watercolor sketchbook and Buff Bucks. The winners for each category received different prizes. The creativity award winner received a Copic Marker set, the craftsmanship award winner received a drawing & sketching set. Finally, the best in show award winner received a $20 gift card to Black Bear Diner, a tablet, and a set of watercolor sketch pencils. 

“I was blown away by the artwork submitted,” Raines said. “Some students used work they created in class in the past and they upgraded it and started fine-tuning it for the show. Other students had work they created independently, and they brought in so that was interesting and beautiful to see. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of work submitted.” 


Best in Show: Norma Amezola

Creativity: Isaiah Nelson

Craftsmanship: Nate Wilson

Honorable Mentions: Tylie Romero, Chloe Carrillo, Alma Núñez, and Corbin Searcy

The art show provided an opportunity for other programs within the school to also shine. Virginia Cole’s math classes added a ‘petting zoo’ to the show. Students designed and then created their animal out of a mish-mash of recycled boxes, tissue rolls and other random pieces of cardboard from home. In order to make it, students needed to measure and determine the volume for each piece and combine for a total volume. This created a learning opportunity for those students while still allowing them to show their creative side. 

The petting zoo area of the show featured a wide array of animals. From pandas, monkeys, rhinos, pigs including a pig dressed up as Spiderman, a giraffe, porcupines, and so much more. There was something for all different kinds of animal lovers at the show. 

“I wanted to find a way that the entire 8th grade could contribute and be a part of the show,” Cole said. “I also thought this might be a great opportunity for the younger grades to look forward to 8th grade math.” 

In addition to Cole’s math classes, Nita Bozarth’s culinary class added a sweet treat to the show by baking around 200 mini cupcakes. Her classes held a bake off to create the best flavors and the most interesting displays and decoration for cupcakes. 

“They had the teachers come and judge it. I got to eat some cupcakes and judge, love that,” Raines said. 

Bozarth also had the teachers judge the best display. Once the winners were announced, they knew they had the best combo to serve to the community at the show. 

“I really appreciated having other areas of the school be a part of the art show,” Raines said. “It’s one of my main missions to show people that art is in everything. So, I really love Virginia’s project and I love bringing in Nita’s creativity as well.”

It was a team effort to put on a successful art show for the first time in two decades. Raines would particularly like to thank both Cole and Bozarth for adding to the show. She also extends a big thank you to Christa Rohrbach, an ELA and Yearbook teacher at the school, and Deseray Hibberd, the AVID Teacher and AVID Site Coordinator and PLC Student Learning Coordinator for JCMS. Then a big thank you to Principal Brent Walsh and Assistant Principal Shannon Richards for their support and help with the show. 

“They were all super helpful to get everything going and keep everything smooth,” Raines said. 

Her last thank you was for her students. 

“I mean, it was the student’s show and I was so proud of what they did. This was their first one that they’ve ever seen,” she added. “So, they didn’t have any expectations and it was fun to see how excited they were to see their work up and show it off to everyone. So, shout out to those kids.”

A Collective Sculpture

Buffalo Sculpture: The Students' Collaborative Creation

One of the unique pieces of art on display at the show was a collective sculpture that each art student had a hand in creating. The following exerpt is a Q&A with art teacher, Eliza Raines, on the work, inspiration, and collective process the students worked on to bring this sculpture to life.excerpt

Question: Where did the inspiration come from for the White Buffalo Sculpture? 

Answer: “So, the inspiration behind it is kind of two part. One, I love artists who use recycled materials. When we say recycled here we mean materials that cannot be recycled. So, these are materials that would just end up as trash in the landfill. So, I love to see art that repurposes that and makes things that would otherwise be trashed and thrown away into something beautiful instead. The other side of it is that it’s personal to me. I grew up not having a lot and so in order to create art, I had to use whatever I could find and kind of problem solve in order to create things and I think that that kind of problem solving helps with creativity, and helps translate over into other areas of my life.”

Question: How did all of your art classes collaborate together on this sculpture? 

Answer: “So, I like to give students a challenge in the sculpture, which it certainly was a challenge for them. The way that we did it together was that each class period took a section of it and worked on it. So, our beginning of the day had to make the base for it. They had to think about how is this going to be sturdy when the classes later on are adding materials onto it. That was one of our biggest hurdles to get over is how to create a sturdy base, and I really didn’t help them very much. I let them make something and then I went and pushed it over. I said this isn’t strong enough. We need to try again. So, the beginning classes had to create the base and the structure. The middle of the day classes had to create the overlay or the skin of it. My final classes were doing the details so they were sculpting out the facial features and adding on the eyes and creating the shape of the nose and things like that. It was interesting to see it come together. We did it in one day.”

Question: How did you choose to make the sculpture a White Buffalo? 

Answer: “All the students voted on that. They all wanted it to represent our school so we chose the White Buffalo.”

Question: Last question, Where is the sculpture going to live in the school? 

Answer:What an excellent question. I’m going to keep it in my room for a while. For right now, It’s still on the stage. I’ve also heard talk from the principals about where in the school it could live. Maybe it will haunt the hallways elsewhere.”

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