Art department collaborates with Habitat for Humanity

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Art department collaborates with Habitat for Humanity
Photo by Sean Minton
PSC Students create pieces of art from building materials and home furnishings at Habitat for Humanity Restore.

By Becca Carlson

Pensacola State College’s Art Department has partnered with Pensacola Habitat for Humanity in creating one-of-a-kind art pieces to be auctioned off on May 18. Sponsored by Pen Air Federal Credit Union, the proceeds from this juried art show will help Habitat build homes for those in need. Meanwhile, students are engaging the community with their art.

Habitat approached the Art Department about collaborating for a fundraiser in which all students and faculty are eligible to participate. They gave each participant $100 to purchase materials from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore location for the mixed media art projects.

Additionally, a $25 gift card to a local craft store was given to the first 50 students who entered the competition.

Participants have access to ReStore stock which is full of building materials and home furnishings. Potential inspiration could be found in a used sink, door, bathtub, toilet, lights, paint, typewriter, or wrench all of which can be found at ReStore.

Anyone can purchase from ReStore, and the proceeds go toward building materials for Habitat homes.

“It’s great for DIY projects,” said Kelly Schmidt, PSC Visual Arts faculty member and juror for the competition.

Artists in the two-dimensional field can use ReStore materials as reference, inspiration or as part of a mixed media concept.

“Any time you have to wrap your mind around something and figure out ‘how do I do this,’ you grow,” said Schmidt. “So much of art is problem-solving. And that’s a lot of what this ReStore project is about.”

Visual Arts Instructor Jimmy Rhea required his students to create multiple conceptual drawings of their projects from different angles to explain, in detail, their ideas.

“Art determines science, or science determines art. It needs to be hand-in-hand to move to our next level,” said Rhea.

The final projects are due April 10th and students will get the experience of submitting artwork for competition.

As an added bonus, submission is free for this event. Prizes will be awarded to students based on aesthetic and ingenuity as determined by judges Rhea and Schmidt.

This contest has a huge incentive for student involvement as Best of Show wins $400, first place takes $300, second place gets $200, and third place gets $100.

Faculty members may enter a piece for the exhibit and auction; however, they are not eligible for the prizes.

A silent auction will be held on May 18th from 5-8 pm, and proceeds will go toward building materials for future
Habitat homes.

Many prominent members of Pensacola’s art scene will be invited to the juried show, offering students a great opportunity to network with those in their field.

Artwork will be displayed on April 24 through May 18 in the PSC Visual Arts Department.

Rhea and Schmidt would like to continue the partnership with Habitat for Humanity. “The Habitat people are awesome,” said Rhea. They look forward to facilitating additional opportunities for students to engage with the community through art.