Jan. 18, 2009: Helping Young Artists Find Their Way

7Everyday Hero Helps Rising Stars Earn Scholarships

Artists often suffer in tough economic times, but this week’s 7Everyday Hero makes sure Colorado’s newest artists find their way.

Pam Starck spent years as an art educator in the Denver Public Schools System. Although she is no longer in the classroom, she still fosters young artists through the National Scholastics Art & Writing Awards program. Colorado students in the 7th through 12th grades have shown off their talent in the program since 1949.

"She's the perfect person to be in between the community and the art student and helping them blossom," said Marianna Bagge from the Rocky Mountain College of Art Design.

Several years ago, the lack of support for the program nearly forced the Colorado contingent to bow out. Starck is now credited with reviving the program, with her year-round volunteering effort.

"We give away $160,000 worth of scholarships," said Starck.

"So often we recognize the athletics, the math, the science, English and that's very important - but there are people who will create in our community and in our culture - by their creative ideas. And when a student like that gets recognized, his peers see that they realize there's more than one way to make a mark in the world," said Sharon Rouse, Chair of the Education Council at the Denver Art Museum.

"This one moment of recognition they get here is a lifetime memory," said Starck.

The work of Colorado students in the National Scholastic Art Competition is on display through January 31st in the Phillip J. Steele Gallery on the campus of the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design at 1600 Pierce Street in Denver. Viewing hours are 12:00-5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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