| “Wood River High School art students’ prints like these by (clockwise from left) Megan Davis, Cassidy Cooper and Caleb Garvin, are being sold in Hailey this week. Courtesy photos
Senior projects being personal is nothing new; many students use them as a chance to learn something they always wanted to. But, increasingly, local high school students have been taking their projects beyond the grade, making a charity part of their goal.
The latest in that tradition comes from students of Wood River High School arts teacher Betty Ervin, who will host a fundraiser at week’s end for Camp Rainbow Gold, an American Cancer Society program that provides year-round support to children diagnosed with cancer.
Students will be selling about 150 original prints that they have been working on in the past four weeks. All of the proceeds will go directly to Camp Rainbow Gold.
The fundraiser that resulted from the 29 art students in Ervin’s studio class fits in as part of the community and service unit of the International Baccalaureate program, a worldwide educational foundation that is part of Blaine County School District’s strategic plan.
Ervin encouraged her students to choose an organization they were passionate about. Students looked at all the nonprofit organizations in the Wood River Valley, and then researched, presented, and voted to select their final choice.
Student Sydni Morales said she was excited at the prospect of using artwork to benefit a cause.
“I think it’s cool because it makes our art have a purpose,” Morales said. “You’re not just making it and taking it home, it’s helping somebody.”
Each student produced at least three prints for the fundraiser. They were able to learn and experiment with different types of prints, including glue prints, engravings made with recycled CDs, and monoprints.
Ervin used the framework of the fundraiser to introduce other concepts such as printmaking to her students. Given the context of the holidays, it provided a natural platform for marketing.
“Prints make great holiday gifts,” she said, noting the generosity quotient that the holidays bring.
Students were able to propose sketches of whatever images they wanted, and prints range in subject from koi fish and trees to mermaids and fortune tellers.
“My ideas come from things that are going on around me,” said student Allie Jones. “Art is just being able to make what you want and being able to express yourself, … for example, putting your emotions and surroundings on paper.”
Ervin has guided her students into involvement in every step of the fundraising process. Students have volunteered to play music throughout the event, and they will take a trip to the fundraising site to hang prints and decorate the space with holiday lights.
Jason Hosick, camp director for Camp Rainbow Gold, will come to the high school to speak with the class as well.
The prints are mounted on a 12-by-16-inch matboard that will easily fit a standard frame size. Each print costs $20.
Ervin said students have responded enthusiastically and she has high expectations that their quality will help to sell every print.
“I think it’s awesome,” student Caleb Garvin said of the result. “It really shows what you are capable of.”
Get an original work
When: Friday, Dec. 14 from 4:30-7 p.m.
Where: 6 Carbonate Street, across the street from Sturtevant’s, around the corner from Big Belly Deli.
*All prints $20