It’s the opening night of the exhibit, and Lily just sold her first painting. And she’s only 6.
She’s proud, but a little confused – some stranger wants her dog?
In the crowded gallery at the McGuffey Art Center, Lily’s mother tries to explain that all of the paintings and photographs on the walls here are for sale. The proceeds generated from each sale support the UVA Children’s Hospital. By selling her painting, Lily is helping a little kid who is just like her – but sick.
Lily brightens a little. It’s hard not to – golden bowls, smirking cows, fuzzy pigs, mushy hearts bloom from the walls. Her mother takes a picture of her with her blue dog. And then they find out that the minimum price for each art piece is $100, and the accomplishment seems even more impressive.
Children Helping Children
The whole event is impressive. Art With Heart began just last year with a very simple idea – to sell children’s art for the Children’s Hospital. Renee Balfour, resident artist at the McGuffey, offered art classes to children ages 6-12, framed each piece and raised $7,000.
In the center of the swells of art aficionados making their First Friday rounds, Balfour hears about Lily’s ”blue Picasso dog,” as she dubs it, and nods. “Last year, we calculated about 34 to 38% of the buyers were non-parents,” she says. “It’s very exciting.”
See it for yourself! Lily is just one of 125 local children who participated in this event, so plenty colorful pieces remain available to buy. The Art With Heart exhibit will be up through October 28th.
Many thanks also to the Park School, a local non-profit private school, for sponsoring this event.
For more details, visit the McGuffey.