Show Preview | ARTsmart Dinner & Auction

Santa Fe, NM
Eldorado Hotel & Spa, February 25

Santa Fe High School students show their work, which will be available for auction during the event.

Santa Fe High School students show their work, which will be available for auction during the event.

This story was featured in the February 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  February 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

This year’s ARTsmart New Mexico honorary artist, Melinda K. Hall, challenged students at Santa Fe High School to reach outside of their comfort zones. Hall worked with art students to create pieces that will be auctioned during the organization’s annual gala on Saturday, February 25, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

ARTsmart strives to transform students’ lives by teaching critical and creative thinking skills through art. The event is its largest fundraiser and helps members reach nearly 8,000 students every year through workshops and classes. The night also features a gourmet dinner created by some of Santa Fe’s best chefs and entertainment from student musicians.

Ceramic plates painted by Santa Fe public school fifth graders, and paintings from the high-school students that were created under Hall’s instruction, are among the items in the silent auction. Hall says she highlighted several elements of her work that she wanted the students to focus on in creating their pieces. These included subject matter, surface, text, and narrative.

“My work is usually narrative in nature, so I wanted them to tell a story with their painting and make a connection directly with something in their life,” Hall says. “They were very clever in how they picked their direction.” Hall says she likes to build up paint on her surfaces and includes text in nearly all of her pieces, which typically feature animals, clothing, and transportation.

The students created 21 pieces that are displayed during the event. Hall says she wanted them to realize that precision and perfectionism are not as important in art as other elements. “When you’re beginning your adventure into art, you’re looking at an object and trying to get it as precise as you can,” she says. “I appreciate that they could let go of that feeling and be a little freer with it and embrace the childlike sense in the imagery.”

Hall has been a longtime supporter of ARTsmart and says she feels the mission of the organization is an extremely important one. “We’ve always known that creative endeavors by students are sure to enhance every other part of their life,” Hall says. “It gives them a great deal of confidence and makes them aware of their skills. And if they do better, we all do better.” —Mackenzie McCreary

contact information
505.992.2787
www.artfeast.org

This story was featured in the February 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  February 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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