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The PACE Center has begun its annual Bright Future Exhibit of local student artwork. 

The exhibit follows a student portfolio day where young aspiring artists meet with art professors and professionals to learn how to improve their work. 

At the event, for high school juniors and seniors, the mentors also help students select which works of art to include in a college application or art show.

The PACE Center Portfolio Day, which started in 2017, normally includes several workshops for the young artists, said Kristin Fletcher, education manager for the center.

“This year the program was virtual and we put all our efforts into students simply getting time with a professional to review their work,” she said.

After the art professionals review their portfolios, the students use what they learn to submit artwork for the Bright Futures Student Exhibit. The exhibit will be open during business hours at the PACE Center until May 6. It will also be online at parkerarts.org/art-gallery-exhibits. 

“Most artwork is for sale but oftentimes students aren’t quite ready to let go of their artwork, in which case it is labeled ‘not for sale,’” Fletcher said.

Cardel Homes helps fund the program and the Parker Artist Guild provides thousands of dollars for awards for the event, with students being encouraged to use that funding to further their education. This year, there will be a “Laura Sierra Best of Show” award in honor of one of the first Douglas County teachers who initiated the program and who passed away last December.

The PACE Center is located at 20000 Pikes Peak Ave.