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‘Fresh artists’ sell work during OctoberTour

By Leigh Ann Alexander

Rowan-Salisbury Schools

SALISBURY — Local schools and students camped out on Bank Street during this year’s OctoberTour to peddle their works and raise money for art supplies.

The sale, known as Pablo’s Clothesline Art Sale, is a Fresh Artists program that enables children to make, show and donate their artwork to raise money to deliver art supplies to schools that need them.

Eight Rowan-Salisbury schools sold student works at OctoberTour, including China Grove Middle, Faith Elementary, Rockwell Elementary, North Rowan High, Hurley Elementary, Corriher-Lipe Middle and North Rowan Middle School.

Combined with the proceeds from last year’s art sale, Rowan-Salisbury schoolchildren have purchased more than $1,000 in art supplies for their schools. Partnering with Fresh Artists, which purchases supplies wholesale, means that money goes twice as far.

Fresh Artists is a Philadelphia-based nonprofit group. In exchange for monetary donations, corporations and nonprofit organizations receive gifts of high-quality reproductions of student-donated art. Since 2008, the talents of more than 2,000 young K-12 artists has delivered more than $1 million in art supplies and innovative art programs to schools in almost every state. Large-scale reproductions have been installed in hundreds of corporate facilities, hospitals and universities and in emergency and homeless shelters.

Last year, Fresh Artists adopted Rowan County as a pilot location. Its founder and president, Barbara Chandler Allen, and master art teacher, Robyn Miller, will hold a workshop for local elementary and middle school art teachers next month to share their knowledge about creating art for large-scale reproductions.

Local teachers will then launch a countywide program to produce Silly City, a local version of Fresh Artists. Silly City will invite children to interpret local architectural gems with paint and recycled cardboard, applying their imaginations to their surroundings.

Last year, North Rowan Middle hosted the district pilot program for Fresh Artists before the program was rolled out countywide.

Teachers participating in the clothesline sale this year were Connie Christman of China Grove Middle School, Kimberly Nance of Faith Elementary, Cheryl Savage-Mazza of North High School, Michelle Allen of Hurley Elementary, Lynn Haynes of Corrier-Lipe Middle, and Leigh Ann Alexander of North Rowan Middle. Thirteen high school and middle school student volunteers assisted with the sale.

Photographs of the sale were taken by North Rowan Middle School student Ali Khatib.

For more information on Fresh Artists, visit www.freshartists.org.

Leigh Ann Alexander is an art teacher at North Rowan Middle School. 

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