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Art for a Purpose

In a throwaway world, a new dogma has taken hold – re-purpose, reclaim, and reuse. There is a new desire to create something new out of that which is old. In other words, create the things you wish existed.  Several of our students took that to heart as they joined a community service program in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity to “Re-Purpose for a Purpose.”

In this program, students redesigned a piece of aged furniture – using only their artistic skills and imagination to make it new again – or they created a piece of art on floor tile. Upon completion of the piece, the art was donated to Habitat for Humanity to be auctioned off during their annual fundraiser – “Home is Where the Art Is.” “This is a great opportunity for our students to have a chance to give back to the community while learning about a variety of art styles,” explained Rosanna Casavecchia, who provides oversight of the project.

In the course of the class – which ran for several weeks – students learned how to make old furniture and materials serve a number of functional purposes. Many of the students took old flooring materials and created beautiful wall art. They also worked together to restore old materials into a drawing table with a fish tank on top. In the course of the elective, they learned skills, such as management of material, methods to reupholster furniture, use of color to bring old pieces back to life and the role Habitat for Humanity has in the community and internationally. “This is a great opportunity for students to learn about vocational career opportunities that can combine with community service,” Rosanna said.

In the course of their class time, the students were visited by the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity, Carolyn Read, who educated them on the role her organization plays in the community and how what they are doing matters. In the course of her talk, she told the students that the house they were providing fundraising for was being built for the Yang family. This prompted one student to note, “We are creating the yin to their Yang.” Ms. Read was so touched by that statement that she plans to use it in her speech to the family upon presenting them the keys to their new home.

The auction opened on Friday, January 12 at 6 Bridges Gallery in Maynard and will run through until February 3. To bid on the auction visit ncmhabitat.org. and click on Home is Where the Art Is. To go directly to the auction click here.