Grant Elementary student artwork featured at Boone County National Bank

SCHOOLS: GRANT ELEMENTARY

By MARGAUX HENQUINET

neighborhoods@ColumbiaMissourian.com

This month, the Boone County National Bank Lobby Gallery, located inside the bank at the corner of 8th and Broadway, will feature some non-traditional artwork.

The gallery is displaying 18 pieces made with crayons, watercolors, pencil, glitter and more, all created by students at Grant Elementary School. They feature a variety of images including people, dinosaurs, cities and even a Pepsi can.

The gallery display is part of the bank’s celebration of the Partners in Education Program, a Columbia Public Schools program that pairs schools with local businesses. The bank has partnered with Grant since the program began in 1984, Mary Wilkerson, Senior Vice President of Marketing, said. Grant Principal Beverly Borduin said they have been hosting the art galleries for 19 years. The bank displays the artwork during whichever month includes Partners in Education Week, which runs from May 5 to May 12 this year.

Students can submit artwork for consideration for the gallery all year long, Borduin said. In March, teachers separate pieces by grade level, then narrow them down. The Student Council then chooses the final three pieces from each grade. Winners’ pieces are professionally framed and matted and are labeled with each student’s name and grade and the title of the piece.

On May 3, the winners and their families attended a reception at the bank, where they got to talk about their pieces and explain what materials they used and why.

“They’re very thoughtful about their artwork,” Borduin said.

Each piece is different because they come from a wide range of ages, Wilkerson said. There are three pieces from each grade, kindergarten through fifth.

Wilkerson said she is often surprised by the quality of the work.

“We have professional artists in there all year long, and some of these are as good or better,” she said.

After the gallery exhibit ends, artwork returns to Grant, where it hangs on a special wall for a year before being permanently hung somewhere else in the school.

“Students and their families come back years later to see their artwork,” Borduin said.

Borduin said the contest and gallery honor student thinking and creativity, and noted there might be a predictive element to the pieces, too. She said a former student recently returned to Grant with his family and visited his piece, a detailed architectural drawing.

Today? He’s a professional architect.

The gallery is free and open to the public during the bank’s normal business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. It will be in place through the end of May.

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