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Grow Up

Inspired by the Science-Informed Art model, Grow Up is an exhibition that empowers young student classes from various Denver institutions to explore the effects of high-concentration cannabis through their own creative lens. 

​Curator Shaunie Berry selected teachers from four schools, Platte Forum, Rise Up Community High School, McAuliffe Manual Middle School and Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy, to attend a three day workshop with presentations from Colorado scientists and community members on the impacts. The teachers then created workshops for their students in which they could discuss the topic and ultimately create works of art based on the students’ learnings.

Art Teachers: Alejandra Calvo (Platte Forum), Shieka Leslie (Rise Up), Kristen Verner (McAuliffe), and Genna Clemen (Kunsmiller).

Grow Up Youth Art Exhibition Opening Night Reception

Jun 07, 2024, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Bells Project, 2822 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80206

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Portrait of Shaunie Berry, Grow Up's curator.

Shaunie Berry

Artist / Health Promoter / Educator

Denver-based multimedia artist Shaunie Berry is a portrait artist who focuses on capturing the essence of unique individuals and themes within the mundane. Inspired by people and vibes, she uses art as a form of advocacy and representation.


Well versed in mediums of pen and ink, oil pastel and paint to express herself; her bright, energetic work evokes both a sense of calm and pride. Originally from Kansas City, MO, she is the descendant of black country folk who’s elders passed down a love of growing food, nature, gardening, and remembering one's “roots.” Common themes within her work focus on personal experiences,  celebration of backness, growth, spirituality and pride. 

Participating Schools

Image of Platte Forum, a participating school in the Grow Up Exhibition.


Platte is an award-winning urban art and activism laboratory – where established artists work side by side with young artists to create a body of work that is reflective of a global voice. At PlatteForum, youth and professional artists collaborate on long-term, intensive projects, where they explore a wide array of social issues together and take creative risks in a safe and inclusive environment. In the process, youth participants develop academic, professional, social/emotional, leadership and personal skills that stay with them forever.

RiseUp Community School

RiseUp opened our doors in August of 2015. We are a charter school with in Denver Public Schools. We’ve worked hard to ensure each student is given the opportunity to learn, practice, and excel with skills they need to be an active participant in their community. Our curriculum is designed to examine self and community, our wrap-around services help students navigate barriers to school, and community building helps us understand each other as individuals rather than judge each other based on biases.

Image of a RiseUp Community School graduating class, a participating school in the Grow Up Exhibition.
Image of McAuliffe Manuel Middle School students, a participating school in the Grow Up Exhibition.

McAuliffe Manuel Middle School

McAuliffe Manual Middle School is a community that prides itself on serving a diverse population of students and families racially, ethnically, religiously, and socio-economically. We draw students from a wide range of neighborhoods; many of them within a 1-mile radius of our campus. Racially, our students identify as the following: 25% Black, 22% White, 44% LatinX, and 9% Multiple races. Our students and family members intentionally work to dissolve barriers of inequity and racism within the educational system. Our unique status as an Innovation School gives us the opportunity to do what’s best for students and develop a curriculum that is perspective building and life-changing.

Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy

Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy is a magnet school designed to prepare students in grades Kindergarten through 12 for creative careers while providing a rigorous college-prep education. All elementary and middle school students explore theatre arts, 2- and 3-D visual arts, media arts, instrumental and vocal music, and dance. In 8th grade, students select arts studies they are passionate about that will lead to career-path studies in high school.

Image of students from Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy photographing individuals in front of a colorful mural. One of the participating schools in the Grow Up Exhibition.

Progress Photos

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