BVSD High School Art Show at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

On Earth Day 2017, DigIn! made its debut as The Shed: Boulder County Foodshed teamed up with BVSD art teachers and high school students along with CU Boulder faculty and students for a local food inspired art show. The purpose of this art show was to have high school students depict through art what local food means to them in order to encourage discussion about the local food movement. The students were asked to reflect on the impacts that local foods have on our community. Below you will find some of the art made by the students. We are so pleased with the success of the first educational event Dig In! has hosted. With notable participation and support from high school artists and art teachers, guest speakers, and wonderful food from Three Leaf Catering, we can proudly say that this is just the beginning of an ongoing community conversation about “local food” and how we can strengthen our foodshed.

Virginia Schick's Art Class

Bronwyn Ellis. 11th Grade, Gouache

My inspiration for this piece was the raspberries that grow behind my house in the summer. It’s the most local food my family has, a mere 10 feet from the backdoor. I painted myself as a fairy eating the raspberries because back then, fruit just growing behind our house was magical. I learned how to space everything out in a painting to draw the eye to a single spot in the piece, as well as why it’s healthy to the environment to grow my own food. In regards to the foodshed, I believe that everybody with access to ground should have their own garden to reduce the carbon footprint of foods we can grow in our backyards, and I often wonder why others don’t have their own small gardens.

Kate Hefferan. "Raw" Colored Pencil

This idea is what inspired my drawing, along with the beautiful colors and textures that appear in raw meat if you really look at it. Once I started this piece, I realized how many different layers, shades, textures, and colors were involved in just a tiny section of meat. I have now spent hours looking at and trying to replicate all these aspects, when before I would only encounter animals if they were fully live or fully cooked. When you try to distance yourself from all the steps that happen between the pasture and the dinner table, you lose that connection to the animal and the beauty that they hold even after death. Everything surrounding our culture of meat eating is controversial, with opinions flying around all over the place. There is everything from “Meat is murder” to “Eating animals is the natural way”, with every possible variation in between. Doing this drawing has brought up even more questions in my mind of what I think is the ‘right’ food to eat. All I know is, among the flesh and bone in this picture, I find beauty.

Maryjoe Cortes Rosas. 11th Grade. "local Boulder Bouty-ful"

I’m really proud of this particular project. It’s the first one this year I’ve done that I actually like and enjoyed doing. I haven’t been living in Boulder for long, It’s been one year, and I couldn’t help but notice that people here try to have a healthier lifestyle and have many places to get local food at. I love how the community is so involved and enthusiastic about local food. This project was inspired by the Farmers market, I had never been to a place like that and the variety of the things were amazing. I remember one day there was this man with fresh sun flowers that looked beautiful and were a bright yellow. There were some beautiful shining fruits that looked so delicious and i couldn’t help but take pictures and buy some delicious fruits and vegetables. Using different materials and different objects to create a piece is something I had never done and I think I really like it. Colored pencils are my favorite things and I put them to use drawing those delicious fruits and vegetables. I  arranged it to make it look simple and unusual, something I haven't done before. I wanted to experiment with new ways of making art and I think I liked it alot.


Jaycie Jennings

Broomfield High School - Grade 10


Animals are an important part of the local food economy.  My piece is a teapot inspired by the Longmont Dairy milk that my family has delivered to our house each week.  It is important to treat cows humanely, they provide us with many of my favorite foods. And when you buy locally produced milk you are also helping to keep money in the local economy.  I love to drink healthy locally produced milk and my piece honors that cows that make it.

Dave Blessing's Photography Class

Aspen F

Isaac Nagel-Brice

Tatianna H

Taylor D

Ella V

Lilly H


Keaton Paquin. Grade 11. Fairview High School

I look all around the world and realize how fortunate I am to live in such a good, and caring community, but for many people that isn’t the case. Around the world, ecosystems, environment, and communities are being destroyed because of industrial manufacturing, and that is what inspired me to create the painting I did. I don't want our community to merely be a reflection of the past in the future, but rather a haven for agriculture, community, and in our case protecting our foodshed. Our community in Boulder is very aware of our environment and foodshed, and I wanted to almost issue a warning and show what can happen to our beautiful home if we lose that sense proactive involvement in our foodshed. My concept is very conceptual as it is not based off of modern patterns in our community, but rather I want it to inspire students around me, adults who take part and enjoy art, and others in our community to become more involved in our foodshed to ensure the contents of my painting do not come true. We need to continue to hold our growers, producers, and cook’s accountable on: the treatment and quality of the produce and products, the treatment of the workers, servers, dishwashers, and all in between. We need to ask the questions about how we are going to be able to have a long term sustainable foodshed, and we need to just be aware of our local foodshed. Although locally grown in many places could be described based on a geographical location, this however is not what our foodshed is about. Although location is key, it is far more important to examine how these companies are helping our community, and how they are putting resources back into our foodshed whether that be money, time, or programs to ensure our long term stability of agriculture. This is what I think we as members of our community must look at, understand, and work to enforce the protection of our foodshed, and inevitably lead to a better world.


Centarus High School

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John Houlihan

"I wanted to explore the idea of how a person's environment  transforms how they live and, more specifically, what they have access to eat.  With the change in the physical environment from rural to urban, it seems the importance and habits of food for the person change.  I wanted to question why the environment dictates our “energy” consumption- why do people change something so important to them because of where they live? My images shows that people shouldn’t be forced to change because of their habitat. The color and stylistic choices also reflect our contemporary world, thus the Instagram appearance. "
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Alina Sofia

"For this project, the idea was focused on what is actually in the food you eat. Many times the food  that is not organic can look beautiful but, in reality, is filled with bacteria and pesticides and doesn’t even taste as good as organic food. What inspired me was personal experience;, I honestly dislike oranges that are not organic because they usually taste bland and sometimes gross. During this project, I discovered a few things about non-organic fruit, for example, pesticides are not the only thing that is affecting them and  non-organic fruit is can be filled with bacteria and worms, which is disgusting. We should be focusing more on what is actually in the food we eat-rather than the “perfect exterior”-and what we put into our bodies every day."
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Mikayla Frank-Martin

Many people buy and eat chicken without knowing where the meat has come from. People don’t realize what steps are taken in order for poultry meat to reach thousands of Americans homes. I created this art piece in order to bring greater awareness to the animal cruelty in the meat industry. My art piece is centred on the harsh conditions poultry chickens endure. As a chicken owner, it is hard to imagine the environment these chickens live in. My project served as a physical representation of a chicken coup at a commercial farm. These “broiler’ chickens are jammed into windowless sheds where they live in their own waste with thousands of others. Such intensive confinement is a recipe for filth and disease. In these sheds, the chickens have no room to move and can’t develop any social structure. Frustrated birds often peck at each other relentlessly, causing injury or even death. I wanted my project to put these factors on full display and to cause people to think about how their food arrives to the store..

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Keelan Roalson

After reading multiple statements from local farmers, I learned just how passionate these men and women are about the food they grow and how much pride they take in pursuing sustainable and environmentally friendly farming. My inspiration for this piece is Giuseppe Arcimboldo, an Italian artist is most famous for painting portraits of people made out of vegetables. The piece of his that most inspired me is “Vertumnus.” In this painting a man in portrayed as a detailed collection of fruits and vegetables, and it made me think about how farmers embody their own produce. Instead of taking this figuratively, a literal representation of this concept shows just how dedicated local farmers are to their profession. The main question we should be asking about our foodshed is, “where does our food come from”? Another question to accompany the first includes “ is our food being produced safely and sustainably”? I feel like asking these questions before any of our purchases will help create healthier eating habits which will lead to a happier society.

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Emily Moore

I created this piece to show the relationship between a dominant non-local food industry and local community farmers. At first I wasn’t sure what kind of project to do so, in my procrastination, I started watching “The Office”. One of my favorite characters in the show is a beet farmer, and this lead me to realize how cool beets are. I decided to use five panes of glass to illustrate its multiple components, and only from the front can you see the shape in its entirety. From here, I created the slogan “Beet the Industry” and the multilayered beet, to show the many uses of this vegetable . This piece wasn’t meant to shame the industry but instead to illustrate the quality of organic and real locally grown food source.

Boulder High School

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Kaylie Stenhouse

Our produce is dependent on the weather, our farmers, and our
environments. We need bees and insects to pollinate our crops, birds to eat the bees, and foxes to eat the birds, just to get honey for our morning cereal or our morning tea. A simple piece of bread with butter requires wheat to be grown and made into flour, eggs and milk -which both come from the cows that we must feed and take care of. It is very easy to lose sight of the artistry behind such things. Local foods, much like the bees, are disappearing. We are losing awareness of how our foods are made since we no longer make our own bread or scavenge for our own seeds. My piece is a note to local foods created to serve as a reminder to the richness of our local resources and all that goes into feeding ourselves on a daily basis.

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Alex Wu

As a pottery student at a local high school I was given the task to create a piece of art that represents local food. People should understand the concept of local food and the need to consume more local food. The only way to do this and by getting rid of non-local food. Doing this would lead to a stronger local economy, less
pollution, and fresher food. So with this in mind I came up with the idea of my dump truck. It represents the idea of getting rid of all non-local food by taking it to the “dump”, hence my title The Food Dump Truck.

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Maddie Hawk

My piece is more than just art, it has a very important message being portrayed. The work boot represents the carbon footprint, and all of the bright foods in the middle are local food breaking through the carbon footprint. The message is to stop the carbon footprint and eat local. I decided to make this piece to show how important it is to eat local. For me, eating local is getting your food from a place close to where you live. The harder it is to get your food, the bigger your carbon footprint, it pollutes and is bad for the environment.