Emily Valenti watched as fast-talking auctioneer Jeff Byrd chanted prices to a large audience inside Clinton High School’s atrium Thursday. Swiftly, her painting, was sold for $160.
“I feel pretty confident about painting now becuase I’m usually not the best at it,” Emily said about her work, which took about two months to complete. “I was surprised it went for $160.”
She was one of many students at CHS who had their work sold during the annual Artsplosion, hosted by Clinton City Schools.
“I’m proud of my students’ work,” said Michael Ray, visual arts teacher at CHS, about the paintings.
Half of the proceeds will go towards the Clinton Area Foundation for Education (CAFE) and the remaining will be distributed to the Clinton Art Department, to help fund the program.
“I feel good becuase it gives an opportunity for the underclassmen to paint and get new supplies,” Emily said.
CAFE is a non-profit organization which raises money for classroom resources and assists with grant funding. For more than 30 years, CAFE has provided resources not funding through the school system or not affordable for students and teachers.
In addition to the auction, artwork from different schools in the district were on display for participants to review. Musical ensembles performed as well.
Emily Colt, an art teacher at L.C. Kerr School, said it was a wonderful event, a way to expose the community to the work of students and different elements.
“It’s giving kids another outlet in school,” Colt said about art. “It let’s them have that creative time so they can do something different and think outside the box. It’s probably the most rewarding thing for me.”
Michael Pope, CAFE president, said it was exciting for the community to see the auction and observe student displays.
“This is a fun evening and a chance to celebrate what the kids have done so far this year and have a good time,” Pope said. “All the money raised goes right back into the classroom.”
Clinton City Board of Education chairman Jason Walters said the event not only showcased the student’s work, but it showed the support of the community as well.
“I think it’s one of the best things we do for the school system,” Walters said about the event, which included a plethora of art from different grade levels. “It’s nice see some competitiveness among the bidders to get the auction prices up as well.”
CHS principal Dr. Steven Miller said it was impressive to see the coordination of local schools.
“It’s just an amazing thing and it’s really special,” Miller said about the fundraiser. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”