Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Art Quotient: A Cause That Inspires

Art QuotientArt QuotientVan Gogh conceivably began his career as a toddler with finger-paints; some feel Picasso ended his career in a similarly primitive mode. Michelangelo probably started with a lump of clay, early in his life and many beginning artists paint portraits as beguiling as Mona Lisa's smile. Art Quotient has partnered with Fundraisers.Com to broaden the scope of their annual student art competition and published annual, AQ.

This year, FundRaisers.Com is proud to sponsor the first Kindergarten through Junior High School student competition. Fostering an early interest in the arts is at the core of Art Quotient's efforts. This is new territory for Art Quotient and the fledgling nonprofit corporation is pleased to promote the endeavor with the support of FundRaisers.Com.

IQ AQUnlike Art Quotient's high school competition, where individual artists are free to represent any subject matter in various media, the Kindergarten-Junior High competition has a theme. This is a unique opportunity to teach and instill philanthropic values in children before many of them can spell or pronounce the word philanthropy.

Art Quotient and FundRaisers.Com are incorporating the idea of "giving back" into the competition by requiring submitted artwork to portray some element related to a worthy cause. Because the concept of philanthropy may be new to the youngest artists eligible for the contest, educational information is available through Art Quotient's website. This is a wonderful tool for teachers interested in having their students participate in the contest. They become educated about nonprofit foundations and the reasons for supporting charitable endeavors.

Danielle K FistDanielle K FistThe undeniable charm of "primitive" artwork has led to great anticipation of young artist's abilities to represent the bedrock beliefs held by the founders of FundRaisers.Com and Art Quotient. Annie Van Bebber of FundRaisers.Com and Christina Wilkinson of Art Quotient have a long history of supporting worthy causes individually and together. It is their mutual belief in a need to support an interest in the arts among school-aged children that has led to this latest joint effort.

Art Quotient is headquartered in Henderson, Nevada providing encouragement to high school artists through a full color "art annual," launched in 2003. Last year over 250 submissions were received from Nevada, California, New Mexico, and as far away as Glasgow Scotland. The Art Quotient Art Annual 2003 (AQ 2003) includes a full page feature of the "Best of Show" winner Danielle Kinshella, including a reproduction of her visceral watercolor titled "Punch." She was awarded a brand new Macintosh G4 computer system with a 17" Sony Digital Monitor. Danielle applied for and was accepted into the prestigious art college Art Center of Design in Pasadena where she now studies art full-time.

K LoweK LoweSecond and third place winners Kelly Lowe and Kyle Carlson, respectively, share a page with a contrast of materials and style. Lowe's colored pencil drawing titled "The Mission of Hope" captured second place with a cropped depiction of barefooted children from the waist down, lined up to receive food with plastic containers. The warmth of the composition and color palette belies the seriousness of the subject matter. Carlson's graphic depiction of an airborne biker is complemented by his choice of digital (Adobe Illustrator) medium.

The top ten artists and other submissions are honored by having their creations reproduced with biographical information including: Artist Name, Title of Artwork, Medium, Grade, School and Teacher. Additionally, a Publisher's Award and a Chairman's Award were given.

Art Quotient currently provides "patronage" in the form of exposure and encouragement to young artists. Eventually, they plan to provide scholarship funds to winners in various categories. Sponsors include Line Group Corporate Merchant, A & B Printing, ProColor, Keyframe Magazine, and R & J Enterprises.

Bob and DanielleBob and DaniellePhoto: Professional artist Bob Byerley met with this year's AQ winner, Danielle Kinshella

Christina Wilkinson, founder of Art Quotient, spent four years researching and gathering like-minded creative professionals to produce the inaugural issue of AQ 2003. Last year's panel of judges was comprised of professional artists at the top of their field. Bob Byerley specializes in ultra realistic oil paintings of children that have a nostalgic tone. Mike Moroff is a bicultural, Tex-Mex actor/artist who raises money for children's charities by team roping on the Pro-Celebrity Rodeo Circuit in his "spare" time. Ora Tamir's paintings are the stuff off dreams. Her vision is decidedly surrealistic with elements of futurism blended in.

These dedicated artists volunteered their time and discerning eyes to select the winners for Art Quotient's first "Annual" publication. Bob Byerley even took time out of his hectic schedule to meet with this year's winner, Danielle Kinshella, discussing and encouraging her future artistic plans. Dedication to the arts and young artists has galvanized individual efforts into a "master plan" that continues to evolve.

The AQ 2003 Annual provides pertinent information for high school art students including a directory of quality art colleges in the U.S. and abroad. There is a listing for art associations, galleries and museums. Perhaps most valuable is a full page of information about scholarships available to graduating high school seniors. These include financial support from Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Inc., the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, National Cartoonists Society, the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Awards Program, Scholastic, and the National Scholarship Trust Fund of the Graphic Arts.

Individuals experienced with starting a nonprofit organization from the basement up will empathize with Art Quotient's current position. Their efforts, to date, pale in comparison to their vision for future financial, professional and educational assistance to young artists. We at FundRaisers.Com are pleased to take this next step in extending the scope of Art Quotient's "master plan." You can visit Art Quotient's website for additional information.


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