In an art sale opening today, members of the studio art program will show off their efforts and also support a good cause. Kenyon’s art department will give at least half of the proceeds from each sale to art programs at Wiggin Street Elementary School, with the other half compensating participating artists.
The inaugural Annual Charitable Art Sale will take place in the lobby of Horvitz Hall today and tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Leah Annitto ’16 worked alongside Associate Professor of Art Read Baldwin ’84 to organize the event.
“I had been thinking for a while that it would be really nice to have some kind of charity event,” Baldwin said. “I pitched the idea to [Annitto], and she just ran with it. She’s done a fantastic job.”
The show features more than 200 works from more than 50 artists. The collection in the Horvitz lobby includes paintings, photographs, and sculptures, nearly all from class projects. Christopher McCann ’16 submitted a series of 27 food-related photographs, collectively titled Mouthful, to be sold individually.
“It’s so cool to see how different the work is, especially because a lot of this stuff I recognize from being from different classes,” McCann said. He said that many of the classroom works on display would only have had the chance to “exist once” without this chance to showcase them. Besides submitting 31 pieces, McCann helped arrange lighting and photograph printing.
Some artists — for example, those whose projects were less costly to produce — agreed to give more than half the proceeds to charity, and all professors who submitted to the show will forego 100 percent of the proceeds.
“The reason that we wanted to give some to the artist is that art is very expensive to make,” Annitto said. She added that most artists will only receive enough from sales to cover the costs of materials.
Like many other artists, Gabe Avis ’17 will negotiate the price of his work with prospective buyers. Avis, who submitted three black-and-white photographs of landscapes from Yellowstone National Park in Montana and from northern Michigan, said of the sale, “It’s a great cause, and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
“The base of support we have been getting from students has been one of incredible excitement,” Baldwin said.
Annitto said she and Baldwin considered other candidates to support, but decided on Wiggin Street Elementary due to its close ties to the College. Many children of faculty and administrators attend the school, located about a mile west of the Village, on Wiggin Street.
“Although they’re not necessarily as needy as other schools in the Knox County area, they are the one school that we have a very personal connection to, as Kenyon students and as the Kenyon community at large,” Annitto said.
“The fact that 50 percent of the proceeds go to charity, and are going to support the arts program at Wiggin Street, was something that really made me want to submit as much as I could to the show,” McCann said.
Annitto expressed hope that students would continue to organize the show, and that each successive leader would use the sale’s proceeds to support a cause of their choosing.
“That will be part of the personal touch,” she said. “The idea is to give to something that’s not directly at Kenyon, but is part of the Kenyon community.”