This weekend, you have a chance to help a kid become an artist. It doesn’t matter if you can’t draw, or if you repeatedly color outside the lines. And you don’t even have to travel outside Verona to do it.
On Sunday, February 27, Hannah Brandt is kicking off an art show at Vintage Alley to benefit the University Heights Charter School in Newark. Brandt, a 2005 graduate of Verona High School who recently received her degree from the Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia, will be exhibiting in the show, as will several other VHS artists you may know: Josh Iannuzzi (Class of 2002), Philip D’Avella (2005), Jennifer Byrne and Max Brandt (2007) and Cameron Smith (2010), among others. She’s also brought in Montclair artists Eric Delmar, a nature photographer whose work is on the home page and Alexa Garbarino, whose first book is of pregnant nudes. The works featured in the show will range from illustrations to photography and sculpture and will be priced at just $15 to $200.
Brandt is organizing the show through a new fundraising clearinghouse called Pando Projects. She learned about it through a relative and, early this year, got to meet Milena Arciszewski, its founder and executive director. Pando’s mission is to help young people–those born between 1980 and 1994–fund and manage projects that help their communities.
“With the budget cuts in art and music programs,” says Brandt, “I know that there’s a need for these things to be accessible.”
The charter school recently lost its arts program to budget cuts. Brandt’s Pando Project seeks to raise $1,200 for supplies to help the students create a mural and art for a gallery show; she would work with the school’s 3rd and 4th graders as a volunteer. “A lot of kids don’t think they are artists,” Brandt says. “The point of my program is to show them that there is not right or wrong way. Just a love for art.”
The Vintage Alley show will open with a reception from 4 to 8 p.m. and runs through March 19. All money raised from the purchase of artwork will go directly towards the purchase of art supplies for the school. You can also bring in art supplies to donate, from pencils and pens to paint and paint brushes, clay and clay tools, charcoal, paper, cardboard–you get the idea. If you can’t support the show in person, you can make a donation online through the Web site that Brandt and Pando have created for the project. Vintage Alley is located at the corner of Bloomfield and Fairview Avenues in Verona.
“I am really excited to be able to pull this show tegoether with these young artists,” says Brandt. “They haven’t been able to exhibit publicly. It is so much fun to be able to get them excited about their own work.”