By Joel Hillan

DENVER (CBS4)-Brooklyn Duran and Esthyr Stucky will be 6th graders this fall at Denison Montessori but they also have something else in common– both are artists.

“I like to create realism and abstract,” said Esthyr.

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They were chosen by their art teacher and armed with a $500 grant to buy art to hang in their school.

Susan Boehnke runs the grant program through Janus Henderson Investors.

Susan Boehnke (credit: CBS)

“I’m beyond impressed with them, they know art, they are asking great questions, they are very inquisitive, they are very engaged.”

(credit: CBS)

The girls didn’t know exactly what they were looking for, but like most good art, they knew it when they saw it.

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“We were looking at this piece because it is very inspiring and we think it would be very good at our school,” said Brooklyn talking to artist Aaron Hequembourg.

The large piece of art is based on a Chinese girl who had a critical heart condition; she was adopted into an American family who saved her life.

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Each year they celebrate by raising money to help other children who face similar challenges.

The piece they had their eye on was $7,500, but Hequembourg found a smaller piece inspired by the same girl and offered a deal.

“It’s normally $825,” he said, “But because you would like something like that so much, I’ll sell it to you for $500.”

The girls huddled and took the deal.

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All in a day’s work for these aspiring young artists.

“Nice making business,” Brooklyn said shaking hands with Hequembourg.

“Nice negotiating with you,” he replied.

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Twenty-four schools were awarded the $500 grant this year to purchase art for their schools. This is the 18th year Janus Henderson Investors has provided the grants.

The Cherry Creek Arts Festival runs through Sunday, July 8.

LINK: Aaron Hequembourg

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Joel Hillan anchors CBS4 This Morning on weekends as well as reports stories for CBS4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. Follow Joel on Twitter @joelhillan.


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