Gratitude

What an amazing weekend we had!  Our First Annual Gallery of Youth was a great success.  That’s right, I said FIRST ANNUAL.  It was successful enough and with such positive feedback, we will do this again and again.

My favorite part of the event was seeing people’s reactions as they entered through the door at The Breakwater.  Nobody expected to walk into a pub like atmosphere for a fundraiser and instead find this awe-inspiring display of color, creativity, and artful spirit.  The kids were in the spotlight and they really got everyone’s attention.  There was such an amazing energy going through the room–  kid’s beamed while they watched friends, neighbors and even strangers purchase their artwork.  And the proud new owners of this artwork were so proud to own it and show it off.

It was wonderful to see so many different people come together for a cause.  Our local school children with their families, townspeople of Pepin, Stockholm and Maidenrock, artists, musicians, local shop owners, out-of-towners, those who don’t have children in school, those who were came for the art….together helped to support our little Pepin School.  And what’s even better is that the kids had a real hand in doing this for their school.  The students donated their artwork for this event, even though none of them would get a dime in their own pockets from the sales.  But they gave so generously in spite of that, knowing they will benefit at school because of it.

This event not only brought people together, but it inspired the kids even more.  For them to see their artwork hanging up for the public, to see their peers’ artwork hanging up, and knowing that they had a hand in a great cause, they are inspired to keep moving forward.  We have kids who are already working on making art for “next time” and they are excited to help and show off their stuff.

The idea of all of this was to encourage kids to grow with their creativity, look for mentorship in the talented people around us, to find nurturing in their natural abilities by parents and teachers and to find inspiration in the stunning surroundings that we live in.  I believe that the West Coast of Wisconsin, especially for creative folk, is the place where your dreams are within reach……if you’re willing to work for it.

Thanks to our mentor artists who donated their impressive work for auction:   Celeste Nelms, Dougie Padilla, Gary Egger, Lori Pesic and Mavis Kjarland.  100% of the silent auction money will go to the school.  Thank you to our artists for giving so generously.

Thanks to our talented musicians, Joanna Jahn, Rich Casey, Chris Thompson and The Ditchlilies, for creating a lovely ambiance.

Thank you also to our local businesses who donated their services and items towards the event.  Thanks to Creative Metalworx for making our art displays, Abode for the generous donation and use of the easels, The Bar Express for providing refreshments, Paul and Fran’s for donating the ice cream and gift certificate, Harbor View Cafe for the gift certificate donation,Villa Bellezza for the Wine Experience donation, Pleasant Corner Schoolhouse for promotion of the event, Angela Kissel for photographing the event, and of course a huge thanks to David Sheridan for donating the use of The Breakwater building and the sailboat rides through Sail Pepin.  Thanks also to good friends who came in to help set everything up on opening night.  This event wouldn’t have gone nearly as well without the help of everyone and we appreciate every bit of it!

I’m sure that many of you are wondering just how well we did.  Including our 5 etsy sales (I’m shipping art prints to MN, NC, FL and TN!) we raised $2,071.00!  I’ll need to pay the printing bill first, but that’s almost all profit.  Thanks to keeping our costs low we have a huge profit margin.  Main Street Graphics in Durand did a wonderful job on scanning in the kids’ artwork and printing it for us.  They went above and beyond and we are thankful for their willingness to take on this project.

Please spread the word about Gallery of Youth.  There will be more opportunities for kids to submit their artwork and new artwork to be purchased.  Keep in touch through Facebook or this blogsite.  Artwork will remain on sale through the etsy site galleryofyouth.etsy.com or email gallery.of.youth@gmail.com.

Thank you to those who attended our event, supported our event, purchased on-line and cheered us on.  We are so grateful to have fans of the kids, the art and the community.

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