The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

Tiny Art and Bigger Meanings

Students contribute their work to fund art scholarships

Many Summit art students started the year off by donating their work to a program in North Carolina that supports art students and their future careers. The Tiny Art Fundraiser from Swell Art Gallery located in Buxton, North Carolina is a program to fund the Wayne Fulcher art scholarship, which helps seniors who plan to go to college pursue careers in art. 

 Four schools around the country have been supporting the scholarship for over three years now to help more people pursue art careers. Summit began contributing to the scholarship fund about five years ago, when Summit art teacher Mindy Mendenhall was introduced to the program by a college friend. 

TINY Art is an art exposition and sale in which 200 to 300 5”x5” blank canvases are distributed to artists, professionals, beginners, community members, and anyone of any age that wishes to participate in painting on the canvases to be donated in order to raise money. All paintings are displayed and sold at the Swell art gallery in Buxton, North Carolina for $20 and money goes to the scholarship fund. 

Summit High School students feel glad about the cause and supportive of the idea. Emily Kraybill, a Summit sophomore and art student who donated multiple paintings to the program this year, feels the program and student donated art is a positive notion.

“Honestly I think that it’s a really good idea,” Kraybill said. “I also think that it’s awesome that those works are going to be put to good use and will be used to donate to other funds.”

As well as Kraybill, Kersie Knoll, another sophomore art student at Summit who donated art, expresses her positivity for the concept. Knoll states how she felt about donating her own art and its benefits. 

“I had the chance to make someone happy seeing it,” said Knoll.

 Funding the arts brings happiness to everyone, so why isn’t there enough of it?

“I think that there should be more scholarships and funding colleges or anything to do with art,” Knoll added.

The arts are underfunded in many American schools, leaving children to miss out on opportunities they should have to be able to explore the arts and express their creative side. Budget cuts and underpaid staff are just two of a multitude of reasons why these courses are often forgotten and limited.

Statistics from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that 44 states require art to be offered for elementary, middle, and high schools, but only 22 states provide funding for the arts. This leaves nearly half of the schools with little ability to reach full potential in giving students a genuine education in the arts and creativity. It’s also important to acknowledge that districts vary and while a state may say that it provides the class, teachers may not be trained and supplies may be limited. 

Tiny Arts is just one of many programs that help students continue the arts and scholarships that connect to it. Many schools end up getting their funding for the arts and scholarships for seniors from fundraisers and donations. When the arts don’t get funded, students miss out on important life experiences and a way to show emotions. 

This year, Summit High donated 42 mini paintings to the tiny art program. Most of the student submissions donated were from Myria Gautreaux’s art classes. The art teacher explains the self realization you get while donating art and the love of sharing our experiences. 

“There’s a really important part, like realizing that other high schools don’t have art programs and so kind of recognizing your privilege and sharing that,” said Gartreaux. 

The arts are also a fundamental part of learning. Seneca Academy, an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program World School, claims that experiences in the arts boost critical thinking and teach students to take time to observe the world carefully and thoroughly. Access to the arts is extremely beneficial for students, and funding issues can be a roadblock to students’ ability to reach their full artistic potential. 

“I think that education in the arts inspires intellectual thought, leadership and new ideas and I think that’s what we want in our culture,” said Gartreaux.

The creative and mental impacts of the arts is something people of all ages need, especially for mental health and psychological well being. As stated by Frontiers psychology, a clinic that specializes in psychological sciences, art could very well be the “most significant source of sensitivity” that influences human development. With this in mind, underfunding the arts takes away from an extremely important facet of education. 

Tiny Art’s mission is to enable students to follow their dreams and pursue the arts. Students need art and creativity to be accessible, and participating in fundraisers such as these can help bring more people into the art culture and make it so art students can get scholarships for their future careers. 


Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Laurel O’Brien
Laurel O’Brien, Staff Writer

Laurel is a very artistic person and when you don’t hear the scratch scratch of a pen on paper, you can find her staring off into space with no thoughts left to think. When she’s not creating or baking, she’s off doing something from her inability to sit still. Blasting down snowing hills, she skis and snowboards on wintry weekends, she’s always up to something. 

Comments (0)

All The Summit Pinnacle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *