The Art From The Heart silent auction continued a collaboration between the arts center and area elementary schools. It’s a partnership that uses arts education as a vehicle for helping fourth-graders make a difference in the lives of others.
The auction featured art created by fourth-graders at Olean’s East View Elementary School, as well as some works of St. Bonaventure students who have been involved in the project. Winning bidders took home the framed pieces of art, which had been hanging in the mezzanine at the Quick Center.
This is the fourth Art From The Heart project, a series that started in 2009 when Evelyn Sabina, curator of education at the Quick Center, visited with teachers at Olean’s Washington West Elementary School who were finishing up a project on global awareness. “They wanted to sell their children’s artwork to raise money for an orphanage in Uganda, and I started thinking that it would be great if the Quick Center could host the event,” said Sabina. “I thought it was a terrific opportunity for the elementary students and for Bonaventure students as well.”
Subsequent Art From The Heart auctions, all held at the Quick Center, have involved fourth-graders from other schools who sold their original pieces of art to raise money for the nursery at Olean General Hospital and the Allegany Historical Association.
Art From The Heart’s end product is art, but before the fourth-graders get there they travel a multifaceted educational path. With the Warming House the recipient of this year’s auction proceeds, lesson plans focused on such things as proper nutrition and community service.
“Six students from St. Bonaventure’s Franciscan Health Care Professions program gave the students a presentation on healthy food and nutrition, stressing the importance of eating fruits and vegetables and getting exercise,” said Sabina. The students also visited the Warming House, which provides nutrition and companionship for those in need. “It’s important that the children know where the money they raise is going, and that their philanthropy is helping a worthy cause,” said Sabina.
St. Bonaventure education majors were involved as well, helping Miranda Armagost, the Quick Center’s education assistant, give art lessons on regular visits to the school.
It all came together at the auction, which the St. Bonaventure students anticipated as much as the fourth-graders they’ve been teaching. “Seeing the children’s smiles when they handed over their paintings to buyers let them know they can make a difference in the community,” said Simone Bernstein, a freshman Franciscan Health Care Professions student from St. Louis. “We hope they felt good about their artwork and their nutrition after taking part in this event.”
Many successful bidders were parents or family members of the young artists, and many donated more than their winning bid, knowing the money supported a worthy cause. “In the past, we have had people get a piece for the ‘buy-it-now’ price of $25, then write a check for twice that amount,” said Sabina.
Art From The Heart is just one among many Quick Center arts education programs that impact thousands of schoolchildren each year, said Joseph LoSchiavo, executive director of the Quick Center. “We’re very proud of the outreach program that we’re able to provide in the area, and we’re grateful to the individuals and businesses that support the program,” he said.
This Art From The Heart project was supported by the East View Parent Teacher Organization and The Ink Well Art Supply and Framing Store in Olean.
About the University: Inspired for more than 150 years by the Franciscan values of individual dignity, community inclusiveness, and service, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. No wonder U.S. News and World Report has for years considered us a “Great School at a Great Price.”