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Artwork copyright Jamila Clarke. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Foothills Elementary Curated Collection in Buckley, curated by Erin Dengerink, 2021

"It was a joy to curate this new collection of art for Foothills Elementary. I sought out artworks that are beautiful, intriguing, and spark imagination. The seven artists in this collection provide images that will invite the Foothills community to enjoy new details with each viewing.

When we enter the school, we find Emily Ginsburg’s large colorful prints. The installation combines colors from a mood ring in large oval images with the element of chance from a game of Twister. The art reminds us to consider how we feel and to acknowledge the circumstances that brought us here. We might find ourselves in a place where our left foot is on Restless and our right hand balances us with Clarity. With the next spin the balance may change.

In the library we see Lehuauakea’s beautiful painting. Fall into their abstracted seascape drawn by the patterned waves, and you may feel a longing for distant shores, and an awareness of the history and culture they draw on. The photographs by Jamila Clarke give us snippets of magical tales and let us invent the rest. We can create our own stories through art.

As we move toward the classroom areas Jane Degenhardt’s paintings focus us on the endless beauty and mystery of the natural world with intricate paintings of the forest floor. Christie Tirado’s wood cuts depict familiar images of people working and of butterflies. Both artists draw from the world around us to help us see the beauty in our lives. Next, we move into the world of imagination with Veronica DeJesus’ dense, ink drawings. The combination of memory, dreams, and the mind's eye result in fantastic vehicles. We are on the move in her visions, riding impossible cars.

Rachel Wolf’s large, abstracted images are found in the classroom area and in the foyer. Wolf, through an amazing camera-less photo process creates a place for us to float, and ponder the vastness shown in her photographs. The spectrum of colors that hangs over the main entrance is seen as we are leaving the building. We exit Foothills through a rainbow of light."

–Erin Dengerink, curator for Foothills Elementary in Buckley, White River School District, in Pierce County, Western Washington (October 2021).

The local Art Selection Committee for Foothills Elementary wanted artworks that are beautiful, intriguing, and spark imagination.