By Lawrence Belanger
Local Journalism Initiative
Last Thursday, students at Alexander Galt Regional High School held their annual Spring Art Auction. Speaking with The Record on the night of the event, Nancy Blampied, teacher for the arts concentration at Galt, praised the artistry of the students and the value of the auction, a tradition at the school for the past six or seven years.
Students Raine Whipple and Liam Barnes spoke to their creative process for their respective paintings. “I think it was fun, because with the end of year paintings, you have a lot of freedom. [There are] not so many constraints,” said Barnes. “You get to use your creativity, and to try to expand…and [learn] how to show it in your paintings. That’s when you get to prove yourself. So of course, it was challenging, but everybody is in this challenge, I think was really cool.”
Whipple, for whom it’s their first auction, agreed with Barnes’ view, adding how they felt about the final creative stretch. “I felt like for the past two weeks I’ve just been non-stop stressing about it like, I [just] finished mine last Monday.”
The creative process was different for each of them, both for returning participants and first timers. Some, like Whipple and Barnes, worked on their paintings up until the week of the auction. Taylor Passmore finished her painting almost a month out.
“It can be very competitive at times,” said Passmore. The students as a group agreed that the sense of competition was beneficial, however.
“The whole time when I was painting, I’d always look at your guys’ [paintings] and be like, Okay, I need to do better,” said Whipple. “It pushes us to do better, to make great art,” concurred Davis.
This year, the funds raised went to the Canadian branch of the World Wildlife Fund. Blampied delegated the decision to students, who elected to support an environmental cause this year due to the weight climate change has on our youngest members of society.
“We had a team of students who researched possible charities to donate to, and it was voted by the whole group to donate the proceeds to the WWF Canada,” said Blampied.
“We wanted to have a charity that was important to us and obviously in this day and age, global warming is a really impactful thing,” explained Aleithea Davis. “It was a pretty easy choice.”
According to Blampied the highest selling painting went for $500, while the total amount of money raised was just over $3,000. This year, guests were treated to a performance by the Performing Arts Concentration students, and music played by Galt mPage 3usic students soundtracked the evening. Various hand-painted glass vases and handmade jewelry and trinkets were also available to purchase by donation. More than 150 people attended this year’s auction.