Student artists impart works to the community

Volunteers raise funds through art sales to make donations to local charities


The artists began a group called ImpART last spring to sell student art and donate the proceeds to charity. Photos courtesy of Miriam Rice.

When juniors Lily Dickinson and Elisabetta Diorio set up their table outside of Wheatsville, they began to get mixed reactions from passers by. The artists had donated their work, the photos of each piece had been printed and the 3D pieces had been set out. The second sale day for impART was ready to start.

“On our first sale day, we raised $414 and one of each artist’s pieces sold, which is really exciting” Dickinson said. “A lot of people’s pieces that sold are a very diverse selection. It’s hard to tell what’s going to sell. It’s hard to predict what people will like because everyone has their own taste.”

The sale was a fundraiser for impART, the non-profit organization started by Dickinson, Diorio and several of their fellow artists last spring. The group collects funds by selling and promoting student artists’ works and donates the money to local charities.  During their second sale in September, the group raised $533.33.

Diorio said though they exceeded the funds raised from their first sale in July, the two sale days were similar.

“We made more money, which was great. We beat our record by like $50. More or less it was the same, but we had new art pieces and a lot more prints sold. A lot more 2D works were bought this last sale day, and the previous sale day was mostly 3D.”

Before each sale, impART’s workforce of artists puts in days of work to get everything ready in time.

“A big part of it is talking to artists and letting them know about impART and collecting their work and things that are really going to sell well,” Diorio said.

“And then there’s also a lot of administrative stuff, letting people know what’s happening on Facebook, keeping people interested in the project, and making art bio cards and lots of prints. There’s a couple days before the sale day where we’re literally just making a hundred cards.”

This sale’s funds were given to the Settlement Home for Children. Dickinson said they chose the Settlement Home with input from the artists.

Photo courtesy of Miriam Rice.

Photo courtesy of Miriam Rice.

“We chose it because it supports young woman and fine arts, and they are really nice people,” Dickinson said. “We’ve met them, and we know the money’s going to a good place. It’s a place for children ranging from infancy to their mid-20s from abusive homes. It kind of acts as a foster home. It mainly supports young woman.  It has lots of extracurricular [activities] that they can be involved in, which builds confidence. My partner called them up and told them what we were all about, and they thought it sounded like a really good idea. They’ve also asked us to help volunteer, so we’re going to be doing that soon. We had different [charity] selections, but we wanted the artists to be involved with what the money was going to, so we had a vote of a couple different ones and that one won”

As the project continues, the founding members are developing even bigger ideas for outreach.

“We’re just hoping to expand and have more people know who we are and make more money and have more donations,” Dickinson said. “We actually might potentially be adding music or film from the school and maybe expanding to other schools.”

Diorio said the combination of new and returning artists is important to the project’s development.

“We have a few artists that are always giving us works that can just like crank out originals, and then we’re always looking for new artists,” Diorio said. “So we always get a mixture of both. Our workforce is kind of expanding, so there’s more connections and different artists. This is the last time we’re helping the Settlement Home, and then I’m going to find some new charities and put a vote out to the artists.”

Diorio said the founding members have high hopes for impART and are looking forward to the future of the organization.

“By the time we leave McCallum, I want to have raised at least $3,000,” Diorio said. “My hope is that maybe we can get some sophomores interested in it, and they can take over when we leave so it’s an ongoing thing that doesn’t just end with us. I hope that McCallum artwork can continue to be used for the good of the community.”

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