St. Michael-Albertville High School senior Katie Scott hopes she can continue art "forever."
The dedicated art student is one of more than 60 St. Michael-Albertville students from all schools and grades who are donating pieces of art to the St. Michael-Albertville Rotary Club's art auction (see preview video here). The third annual event will raise money for an art scholarship.
The event is set for Thursday, Feb. 28 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Michael City Hall. The preview will take place from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Some of the pieces are on display at St. Michael-Albertville High School's main office until the event.
"It's fun to see the variety of art work (in the office)," said STMA High School art teacher and department chairwoman Kari Halker-Saathoff. "It's a nice juxtaposition of art work."
The auction includes paintings, drawings, ceramics, printmaking, and photography, to name a few.
Scott's piece is a photograph she took of a bride sitting on gas pumps. She calls it "Girl and Gas." Like her peers, she hopes it will be auctioned off so a scholarship can benefit an art student in the future.
Although it's her first piece entered in the art auction, she's been a photographer since 10th grade.
"Art is life to me — it's also life to a lot of my peers as well who are donating pieces," she said. She hopes to attend Minnesota College of Design next year. "I eat, breath and sleep art. It's truly what has made high school a lot easier for me."
She added that anyone who attends the art auction is helping a great cause. Art schools are expensive, she said, making a scholarship specifically for art significant. "It really helps students like me and my other talented and passionate peers follow our dreams by becoming artists and getting the education for it as well," she said.
She and many others at STMA work hard on their art work and take it very seriously, she said. A common misconception she fights is the idea that art is a "petty thing" and a career that you can't make a living from.
Scott took a photography class a couple years ago and fell in love with that medium of art, she said.
"Art draws me in because it has rules, but doesn't at the same time," she said. "It's an awesome way to actually see inside someone's mind. I love when I look at a really great piece and I want to know what the artist was thinking or feeling while creating it."
Scott's journey to art and her passion for it is not uncommon in STMA, said Halker-Saathoffart. In the past, the auction included just a few student pieces, and has grown to more than 60 this year.
"In this school district, we have some great artists and great students, and we needed to showcase them more," Halker-Saathoff said. "I'm pretty proud of our students."
Local artists will also be donating items. A few businesses and organizations will also submit art.
"It's kind of a dabbling from the community," Halker-Saathoff explained.
All pieces by students and local artists are original works of art.
"It's more exciting to see real art, instead of a copy or print," Halker-Saathoff said. "To me, it's more meanigful to have a piece of art work by someone who is local and spent so much time on it."
The auction used to be conducted by a professional auctioneer company, but this year, high school staff are running it for the first time.
That means all the preparation was done by the school. Halker-Saathoff framed every student piece that will be entered, and she and a student helper attached artist statements to the back. This took weeks.
Putting the event together has been a learning process. Although difficult, it's possible because of the district's support of art — Superintendent Jim Behle and STMA High School Principal Bob Driver's positive comments and continued support have kept the art department motivated, Halker-Saathoff said.
"I'm looking forward to this event — it'll be fun o see the buzz that's created around it," she said. "We have some really great art."
The students began working on their pieces in November. For some of them, this is just the beginning of their art career. And for many, it's all thanks to their art teachers at STMA.
"All my art teachers are wonderful," Scott said. "I hope I can keep doing this forever."