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Bruce Klassen Art Blog

Children's Art-Walk Update

by bruceklassen , March 22, 2008—11:20 AM

Topics: charity, kids, painting

We are closing in on the end of our Spring Session with 24 children at Heritage academy in Augusta. Have a look at our new and (we think) improved website . The kids, as always have been glorious. What a gift we have been given to serve them in this way. Kids do succeed through Art. The Jr. Leaguers of Augusta, have once again worked by our side, as have the great folks at Heritage Academy. This has truly been an interesting Session, because we have added two new Success component to the mix. We are actively showing the Kids' Art. All the show frames were donated to us by Shishir and Tara at "the Frameworks" in Augusta. We are currently finishing up a wonderful show at the Bee's Knees restaurant, and from there we will be taking the show (with new paintings) to the Morris Museum of Art, and then to University Hospital. Kristi and Eric (Kristi owns and runs Bee's Knees, and Eric is a fantastic art show hanger) did a wonderful job providing lots of great food, great Sangria, service, and the space...If ever you want to have a great party downtown, this is the place to have it. The first new success experience, beyond our wildest dreams, has been the purchase of most of the paintings in the show, by many of you, but also new friends...who will join the list when we are done with the show. One of our artists even got three commissions to paint similar versions of "Psychedlic Wrasse again. The second success, has been that as the kids get paid for their painting, they are allowed to donate some of it back to the next group of kids so they have the success of not only "earning" for their painting, but also "giving" back. On average, kids are giving 30% back. We think that this has certainly roused some new self awareness and confidence in many of them. We also thank Michele Arroyo, a practicing Artist, who lead the "show crew". The next "show" for some of the kids and myself is actually another act of giving. We have been asked by the Walton Rehab Hospital to provide four paintings to be auctioned off for their benefit. Three of the kids are busily painting for that show, mine is done ;-). We also have "found" a very important person to help us in one of our next big steps. Betsy Doubledee is a fashion designer from SCAD in Savannah, living here in Augusta. Betsy is currently working on the first "line" of KidSmart clothes, which will have some of the children's' images incorporated into the design. These limited edition, wearable art-works will hopefully soon be available for purchase.....for your kids, grand-kids, nephews...etc. The proceeds, will again fund future work by CAW, the children, and to the folks that design, manufacture and distribute the clothes...hopefully all locals...maybe even sisters/brothers/parents of the kids. Once the "business" is at break even, we hope to hand it over to someone who can focus on it and grow it, again for the benefit of the kids. We have also been wonderfully blessed with funds. Mark and I had submitted our first grant proposal, and the Porter Fleming Foundation has seen fit to give us $8,000. The money is given us to expand into other organizations in the general area. That is beyond the generous donations by some of you, and the proceeds from my Art-work and kids giving back. We can now start to think like Croesus, and implement our expansion plans. So if any of you know of an organization that serves low-income or disadvantaged kids...we are "all ears". We are presenting the idea to MCG Children's Cancer program in the next week. We still do not have a quote for the studio we want to renovate at the Heritage Academy (The Bible Beater Studio). Keith Burgess has now stepped up to the plate to make that happen, and if possible...see to it that it is built this summer. The money is ready and waiting...and so are the kids. If only it were all so smooth! Mark Shaefer, our, oh so, effective Co-Founder has been accepted to study Intellectual Property Law at Mercer (one of the top law schools in the country). He will be difficult to replace in August. If anyone knows someone who is right for this volunteer position, we would like to speak to them. Word is spreading about the mission we have taken on, and I hope that growth will come from opportunities that some of you tell us about. We have also been given 501 © (3) status as a public charity. Now we need a bookkeeper/CPA who is willing to keep our books on a pro-bono basis. If anyone knows of someone, please let me know. I will give them my personal tax return business in the future for pay, of course....Nancy? That's it for today. I will bring you news toward the end of the summer session. Peace of Christ to you and your loved ones "He is not here. He has risen" (my faith is not shared by all volunteers in working at CAW, nor by many of you)...but that does preclude us from expressing ours, and sharing with all of you, the "good news". Bruce and Mark and CAW Volunteers



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