‘Escape into Art’ highlights student work with month of fundraising activities for Port Townsend schools
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Artist Margie McDonald displays some of the wire art she will demonstrate in a Saturday workshop to kick off the monthlong Escape into Art fundraiser. — Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — Forty-three Port Townsend businesses are participating in the monthlong “Escape into Art,” a fundraiser for school-based art programs.

“This is an annual celebration of children’s art and creativity,” said Mari Mullen, Port Townsend Main Street executive director.

More than 400 pieces of art created by Port Townsend School District students from kindergartners to high school seniors are on display in the businesses.

“Every kid can have success in art. There is no one single answer,” said Margie McDonald, artist-in-residence at the Port Townsend School District.

“Art helps you think in a different way than math or English will ever teach,” she added.

Funds will come from workshop fees, short-play admissions and from donation jars that will be in all merchant locations through the month.

Mullen said she hopes the program will raise about $2,500.

Another fundraising component comes from Daily Bird Pottery, 1101 Water St., which is donating proceeds from the sale of $8 ceramic birds.

The event is sponsored by PT Artscape in partnership with the Port Townsend Main Street Program, Port Townsend School District, Washington State Arts Commission, Centrum, PT Artworks, Port Townsend Arts Commission, participating businesses and arts education supporters.

The funds raised will help supports offerings by PT Artscape, including the teaching artists programs in Grant Street Elementary, Blue Heron Middle and Port Townsend High schools, and professional development for teaching artists and classroom teachers.

PT Artscape also supports Centrum’s Tales, Texts and Theater Program for the sixth grade, as well as special projects and materials.

While the fundraising will continue through the month, there are special events Saturday to coincide with the monthly gallery walk.

McDonald will teach a wire workshop for adults from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Hastings Building, 839 Water St. The $45 fee includes gourmet pizza, cheese and wine.

McDonald and Wanda LeClerc also will conduct a free children’s weaving workshop from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the same location.

Two short plays written by Michael Grady, “Eralset” and “Sur La Maison,” will be presented on a rotating schedule between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at 118 Taylor St.

Donations are requested.

“Art makes kids more open to looking at art for the rest of their lives,” McDonald said.

“You can see kids who have absolutely no art education where it’s harder to pry them open to enjoy different types of art.

“With art education, it gives them something that lasts forever.”

“I’m always envious when I go into schools and see what kids are doing nowadays,” said McDonald, who grew up in a small Newfoundland town and had no early art instruction.

“When you’re making art as a kid, you don’t have all those voices in your head telling you that you can’t do something, so you are not hindered by what anyone else is doing.”

For more information or a list of businesses, phone 360-385-7811 or visit www.ptmainstreet.org or www.ptartscape.com.

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Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cb1ermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: April 30. 2014 7:27PM
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