Quarterly art show
The first quarter of this school year has been a time for Shawnee Mission student artists and educators to shine.
The community has an opportunity to see student creativity on display in the first Quarterly Digital Art Show of the 2023-2024 school year.
The artwork included in this show was created by students in Pre-K through 12th grade from across the Shawnee Mission School District. Special thanks is extended to Megan Ellis, Shawnee Mission visual arts coordinator and Lenexa Hills art teacher, and Shawnee Mission art educators across the district for all of the submissions and for putting this show together.
Shawnee Mission Staff Art Show returns, Hocker Grove Art teacher honored
At the beginning of the school year, Shawnee Mission School District (SMSD) staff and educators displayed their talent at the Center for Academic Achievement (CAA), with the return of a Staff Art Show tradition.
As part of this show, the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation purchased the winning piece and gifted it to the SMSD to become part of the district’s permanent collection.
A panel of judges from the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation selected Kaitlyn Flager, art teacher at Hocker Grove Middle School, as this year’s winner. She submitted an Earthenware clay piece, “Where the Bison Roam,” a three-dimensional textured plate depicting a bison on the prairie. The work becomes more abstract as a viewer’s eyes travel across the piece.
“In my piece, the bison fades into the background as they did many years ago when they were on the verge of extinction,” Flager said.
The permanent collection goes on display in the CAA gallery after the last student show of the school year ends in May.
“Having my piece selected was overwhelming in the best way,” Flager said. “My students were very excited to see me honored.”
The permanent collection remains on display through the summer. The winner also receives a grant from the Foundation for their school’s art department.
Megan Ellis partnered with the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation to bring back the staff art show after nearly a decade’s hiatus.
Ellis celebrated the acquisition of Flager’s artwork, saying it is “beautifully crafted and visually moving.”
“Kaitlyn is extremely dedicated to her students, and constantly demonstrates the power and impact of art education,” Ellis added.
In future years, organizers plan to continue to recognize the creativity of SMSD staff and the value their passion holds for our community, as well as further support the visual arts and its importance in education.
All SMSD staff were invited to share an original work of art for this show. More than 35 pieces were entered from staff across the district, including custodians, school office staff, support staff and teachers from a variety of content areas in elementary, middle and high school.
“I am excited that our community will be able to continue to view this piece annually for years to come and for Kaitlyn to leave such a beautiful mark on our district,” shared Ellis.
Shawnee Mission School District is the third largest school district in Kansas. The district serves students in Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade in 34 elementary schools, five middle schools, five high schools, and several educational centers. It has been consistently ranked among the finest school districts nationwide for its high student performance. The district’s objective is that each student will have a personalized learning plan that will prepare them for college and careers, with the interpersonal skills they need for life success. The district serves a diverse student population from 14 cities within northeast Johnson County, Kansas, which is 10 miles from downtown Kansas City, Missouri. For more information, visit www.smsd.org.
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About the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation
The Shawnee Mission Education Foundation’s mission is to advance scholarship and leadership, to enable all Shawnee Mission students to achieve their potential. The Foundation believes all students deserve equitable access to education including academics, leadership, and social and emotional learning.
Through a strong partnership with the Shawnee Mission School District, the Foundation provides countless opportunities for our students from early childhood to high school, college and career. The Foundation is proud to support District initiatives, educational enhancement opportunities, as well as Foundation-sponsored programs, like Scholarship Shawnee Mission, Leadership Shawnee Mission, Real World Learning, Excellence in Education (E2) Teacher Grants, The Shawnee Mission Cares Fund, and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.