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Dougherty Valley's 'Beauty in Age' art project honored by state organization

School-city partnership recognized for creating collaborations

A portraiture project pairing Dougherty Valley High School students with older San Ramon residents through a city senior center recently received statewide recognition for promoting a sense of community through collaboration.

"Beauty in Age" is an annual effort in which Dougherty Valley art students interview local seniors and then create individual portraits depicting an aspect of their subject's life. This year's artworks were displayed at the Alcosta Senior & Community Center Gallery in January.

The California Parks and Recreation Society took notice last month, honoring the project -- which is a joint effort between the city's Parks and Community Services Department and Dougherty Valley High -- with a section award for "Creating Community through Partnerships and Collaboration."

"I am so honored to work with such talented, motivated and thoughtful students, in a community that embraces the arts," Kelsey Wengel, Dougherty Valley fine arts teachers, said in a statement. "This project grows in popularity each year and has become a staple of our AP Art program."

The mission of the annual project "has always been to strengthen inter-generational and multicultural engagement and to increase exposure to, and awareness of, the beauty in every stage of life," San Ramon Valley school district officials said in a statement.

"Additionally, the 'Beauty in Age' project provides a sense of accomplishment to the students as they take pride in their work, practice public speaking skills and learn to build bonds with people different from themselves," district officials added.

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