Stars 4 Douglas County distribute visual-arts grants

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Students, teachers and local schools are recipients of grants totaling $6,000 from the Stars 4 Douglas County organization. Funds were raised for support of visual arts in the schools by the first Masquerade Gala, held in December 2012.

Julie Holladay, founder and director of the organization — and an art teacher at Castle View High School — hopes to be able to make even more awards in future years, she said.

A selection committee from the community included a former Adams State art professor, who was impressed by the quality of student work.

Three graduating seniors won $1,000 each to be used at the college of their choice: Caroline Ray (Douglas County High School); Jenna McMullins (Castle View High School) and Rebecca Houser (Douglas County High School).

Featured schools included Coyote Creek Elementary, Douglas County High School, Renaissance Elementary and Soaring Hawk Elementary.

Three teachers will receive $1,000 each for their visual arts programs: Kim DArthenay, Pamela Cogburn and Diane Boice. Two of them asked for funds for iPads to be used in the classroom. Students will conduct research and create academic portfolios and innovative art projects. The third will fund a “Legacy Project,” repurposing furniture that will be a class gift to their school, Flagstone Elementary, and creating an art installation in front of the school.

Two schools were designated “Star Select Schools” and will each receive 25 percent of proceeds from the 2013 gala for visual art programs: Coyote Creek Elementary and Douglas County High School.

Participating artists will again be sought to transform large metal stars into works of art. Each star will be displayed in the community and then auctioned off at the November Gala. More than one concept may be submitted.

All Colorado artists are invited to create STAR art. A $40 stipend for materials will be available for large stars and $20 for smaller ones. (Expenses beyond that can be considered a donation to the 501(c)(3) organization.) Selected artists will receive 10 percent of the auction price, as well as recognition on the website. Those painting a large star will receive two tickets to the gala (artists under 21 may donate tickets to a recipient of their choice).