Student art sales raise over $2,000 for Literacy Volunteers

Roger Coda
students drawing in a outdoor class

Sales of artwork created by Department of Visual Arts and New Media students at Fredonia have provided a hefty financial boost to Literacy Volunteers of Chautauqua County, a non-profit that provides tutoring services in reading, math, English language and other subjects.

The spring semester art sale, held in-person on April 19 at the Williams Center Multipurpose Room, generated $2,215 for Literacy Volunteers. Students donated the proceeds on Wednesday, April 28.

“It went really well, better than the sale last semester,” reported Angeline Ginsberg, a junior majoring in Ceramics from Lindenhurst and one of the show’s organizers.

Fifteen students donated a variety of artwork. “There were a lot of mediums being sold; we had paintings, a lot of pottery, stickers and pins, jewelry, prints of student paintings and digital artwork,” explained Francesca Olivo, a junior majoring in Ceramics and Psychology from Orchard Park and another organizer of the show. Other items included wood block prints, hand-made paper and books and custom clothing.

According to Ms. Olivo, the donation will be used by the organization to train volunteers who help adults to realize educational, professional and personal growth, to foster awareness of literacy services and promote the benefits of literacy to the entire community.

“This donation is the result of the students’ hard work and their commitment to giving back to the community,” said Associate Professor Peter Tucker.

“I am continually amazed by the hard work, creativity, and generosity of our VANM students! They are shining examples of what makes Fredonia great,” added Department of Visual Arts and New Media Chair and Associate Professor Michele Bernatz.

The shows generated a ringing endorsement from Mr. Tucker, who readily acknowledges to being a regular customer. “I often buy presents for my wife – ceramic mugs, bowls, paintings and I get stickers for my kids sometimes; stickers are very popular these days,” Tucker said. “Our students make fantastic work.”

Art sales are organized solely by students, with assistance from Associate Professor Hide Sadohara, and are held in each semester. The fall semester sale also benefited Literacy Volunteers.

That organization was somewhat shocked by the size of the new donation, noting that it was significantly more than what was given last fall, Ms. Ginsberg noted.

“We try to donate to an organization in the Fredonia area, to give back to the community,” Ms. Olivo said. Proceeds from fall and spring semester sales in the same academic year are typically given to the same organization. Lake Shore Humane Society was the recipient in 2019-2020.

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