When a group of young girls walked through the doors of the Sanctuary Art Gallery in Davidson for a printmaking camp last summer, they figured they’d walk out a week later with an increased knowledge of monoliths, stencils and marbleizing.They didn’t count on the chance to make an impact on the community where they lived. But the work they produced during the four-day camp did just that when it recently sold for $100, which the girls donated to the Cornelius Animal Shelter. The idea began in the mind of Anne Harkness, 56, a Mooresville artist who taught the class. In addition to a background in graphic design, Harkness worked with children as teacher and principal. She loved the idea of art camps for kids because they could try techniques they never had, and the printmaking camp was no exception. “Photo laser prints, veggie and fruit prints, making our own stencils, hammering leaves and flowers – none of the kids had tried any of these before,” she said. Harkness also liked the idea of displaying youngsters’ art, going back to her own childhood when her parents often hung her work. “I feel like with some instruction and supervision, children and teens can come up with pieces that are a delight to hang in your home or give as a gift,” she said. “It’s a real gift for them to be able to look at it later in life and remember, ‘I had fun with that.’” Harkness also thinks it’s important for children help out their community. So she presented campers with an idea – to create an original piece to sell and donate the profits. Before work even started, the girls had to agree on a charity. After some spirited debate, they decided the Cornelius Animal Shelter would be the perfect beneficiary. The canvas was then divided into nine sections, so each girl could showcase her work. Harkness had it framed gratis, and Sanctuary owner Kristen Feighery agreed to hang it in the gallery, with a price tag of $100. Last month, a buyer came in and purchased the piece (without realizing the back story), and the campers received a check for the asking price, which they presented to the Cornelius Animal Shelter. For the girls, the entire experience still resonates. “What I liked most about the printmaking class was learning an absolutely new technique of art. It was something I never tried before but I decided to take the class to fill the long, hot summer days,” said Sara Weidenbach, 15, of Davidson. “I’m glad I did because our amazing teacher, Ms. Anne, showed us a part of art none of us had experienced before. I think we were learning together about what we could do.” Student Michelle Lantz of Cabarrus County also enjoyed the experience. The best part? “Learning new techniques and using your environment to make different prints. Also meeting new people and seeing their creative side,” she said. As for the charity concept? “I feel so proud of making money for the animal shelter. It feels like we actually made a difference and that it wasn’t just us waving our brushes around anymore,” said Weidenbach.
Friday, Dec. 07, 2012
The art of charity
Girls sell work made in printmaking camp, donate it to animal shelter
Danielle and Michelle Lantz deliver a check for $100 to Kenny Russell of the Cornelius Animal Shelter. The Lantz sisters were part of a printmaking camp at the Sanctuary in Davidson last summer. Campers completed an original piece, sold it in the gallery, and donated the proceeds to shelter.
Campers, from left, Sara Weidenbach, Riley Stowers, Parker Stowers, Danielle Lantz, Mithra Venkatesh, Michelle Lantz, and Morgan Teifer work on a group-participation piece of artwork to sell to raise money for the Cornelius Animal Shelter last summer.