Dig In!: A Boulder Valley High School Art Contest

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Dig In! is The Shed’s first countywide educational project to promote conversation about what a foodshed is and how “local food” relationships matter to our community.


While Boulder Valley talks a lot about “local food,” it actually can be a challenging idea to define or bring to life beyond soundbites.


This is why we need artists.

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We invite Boulder Valley high school art teachers to encourage your students to create art that reflects their answer to the question:


“What does local food or our foodshed mean to you?”

It may be because you value a connection to others and the earth, humane treatment of animals or workers, money kept in the community, lower carbon footprint, better taste, healthier options, or many others.

 

Get Creative!

Local food is often understood as simply food that hasn’t traveled far to our plates.  

But not all local food is created equal.  

 

We’re hoping that with your help, we can inspire new, deeper conversations about the relationships that make up our foodshed, including those between people (such as workers, farmers, and consumers), as well as the land, animals, water, and air that sustain us all.

 


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Step 1: REFLECT ON WHAT “LOCAL FOOD” AND A “FOODSHED” MEANS

Beyond miles or distance to your plate, how might you define a “foodshed”? What and who is involved in “local food” practices? What are your assumptions about the impacts of “local food” on our community,
including the land, air, water, animals, and people in our region?

Step 2: GROUND YOUR REFLECTIONS

Think about your favorite foods, and then choose one that is grown and/or produced locally, in order to Dig In! to how the food found its way to your plate. A local grocery store, restaurant, company, or farm might give you ideas about what is called “local.”  Do you agree with their definitions?

Step 3: DIG IN! TO WHAT A FOODSHED MEANS FOR BOULDER COUNTY 

Use The Shed’s Resource list at our website, ask questions of local experts, read more, and find out about the foodshed in Boulder Valley. Learn where our regional food and/or its ingredients come from. Research how is it grown, raised, harvested, processed, packaged, and/or transported before you consume it–and by whom. Discover what threatens or makes possible local food.


Step 4: THINK CRITICALLY

What does it mean to think of yourself as part of this foodshed? What ideas do you want to share with our community that you learned? Is it connection to others and Earth? Humane treatment of animals or workers? Knowing the farmer who grew your food? Money kept in the local economy? A lower carbon footprint? Better taste? Healthier options? Does “digging in” uncover any surprises, inspirations, or complications you think are important for our community to discuss?

Step 5: COMMUNICATE THROUGH YOUR ARTWORK!

Choose a medium:

Print/Image: Paint or draw a picture, write a graphic novel, make a poster, etc.

Video/Media: Create, compile, and edit a video, record a dance, play, skit, etc.

Three-Dimensional Construction: Build a sculpture, pottery, still life, shadow box, installation, etc.

Step 6: SUBMIT YOUR ARTWORK AND ARTIST STATEMENT

By April 10th, your teacher will submit your artwork digitally and bring it to BMoCA on April 21st for the show the following day.

Coordinate with your teacher to turn it in beforehand.


You must include an artist’s statement, one paragraph describing what inspired you, what you discovered, and what questions we should be asking about our foodshed.

Be sure to include your name, school, grade, and email address.

Step 7: JOIN US TO CELEBRATE AND DEBATE!

Join us on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22nd at BMOCA, adjacent to the Boulder County Farmers Market, where student art will be featured for the community! 

Together we will celebrate all of your hard work with speakers, local food from our foodshed, a kids art and seed bomb activity table, and a community discussion!

Whether or not you win, we hope participating in this contest makes you excited to talk more about our foodshed. Winners (which could be you!) of all three categories will receive prizes from community leaders. 

Prizes:

Student submissions in each category will be judged by Shed community partners with winners in each category receiving a prize. All students will receive a certificate of participation. 

Step 8: PICK UP YOUR ART AND KEEP DIGGING

Although we are excited to learn from you and share your work with our community, we also realize you probably want to keep your art.

Check back here for pick-up directions as we get closer to the date.  


This is just the beginning of an ongoing community conversation about “local food” and how we can strengthen our foodshed. We hope to include more students in the future.

Keep using your voice to shape our future!

Thanks for helping us make this launch a successful one!

If you have any questions about this contest, contact Laura Smith at laura.a.smith@bvsd.org.


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City of Boulder Local Food Resources

Boulder County Farmers Market

City Food Policy and Programs: Lessons Learned from an Emerging Field

CSA Farm Shares with Pickups in Boulder

CSA Farm Shares with Pickups in Colorado

Grow Local Colorado

Growing Gardens

Livewell Colorado- Food Systems Toolbox

Local Food Shift

Northern Colorado Regional Food System Assessment

Practice Urban Agriculture- American Planning Association

Regional Food Hubs – USDA

The Growe Foundation

The Kitchen Community

The Value Chain of Colorado Agriculture

Boulder Valley School District- School Food Project

National Farm to School Network

FoodCorps