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Patton College art auction benefits elementary school students

Event raises record $1,500 in fourth year

The only remnants left in the McCracken Hall "Gallery" after the recent Patton College of Education and Human Services fourth annual Art Extravaganza and Silent Auction were the signs, "Local School Student Art Exhibit." 

The event raised an auction record $1,500 for The Plains Elementary art program and its contributing artists.

Anticipation for the event was high since the art unveiling on May 24, where 35 pieces of artwork from the K-6 students were revealed to the public.

During the auction, bidders took different strategies. Some waited until the last minute to bid, while others camped next to their favorite piece to protect their bid.

"I know the parents want their kid's artwork, but they'll have to outbid others," joked Patton College Dean Renée A. Middleton before the bidding started.

Every single piece received bids between $15-$170 by parents, students, faculty and staff who were on hand to support the young artists and their art program.

"I thought this was a great opportunity for the kids and the community, as well as the university," said Tami Benyei, art teacher at The Plains Elementary. "It's a win-win opportunity and the money will help provide extra special supplies that kids might not otherwise get to use."

Benyei said the kids have found inspiration while studying various types of artwork and art styles to motivate their creativity.

"This artwork is about being fearless and trying something new" Benyei said. "You never know who might be the next Picasso."

As for next year's event, Middleton said the artwork will be displayed at McCracken Hall and at the Kennedy Museum of Art in The Ridges.

To see Mark Brunton's photos from the event, click here.