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Girl Scouts artVenture


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Are you looking for an art show that fully encompasses all mediums?  Looking for new art to purchase? If so, check out the Girl Scouts artVenture. The seventh annual artVenture is back with added momentum. This year, artVenture will spread across Nebraska with events in Grand Island, Kearney, and Lincoln.  The largest event will be in Omaha, but this year Girl Scouts in further communities were invited to get involved.



The fundraiser for Girl Scouts of Nebraska is an opportunity for Girl Scouts to work with professional artists to create pieces of art. Already, there are 31 artists involved in this program in Omaha, but it is expected that 8 more artists will be added this year. The mediums vary from: beading, mixed media, concrete and metal sculpture, glass fusion, lampworking, painting, photography, printmaking, pottery, hammered copper, and layered color pencil. Not only will the collaborative pieces be auctioned off but the individual artists will also have pieces of their own work for sale.

The final pieces are auctioned off with the proceeds going to the Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska. 100% of the sale of the collaborative art is donated back to the fund and up to 50% of the sale of the individual art goes back to the artist. The goal for this year is to net $55 thousand from the sponsorships and the pieces auctioned at the event. Last year the artVenture raised $44 thousand net profit. The money raised will be used in many ways including providing financial assistance to girls that want to be part of the Girl Scouts but can't afford to.  It will also be used to maintain 6 campsites across the state, support activities and events, and train volunteers.

The artVenture program allows the girls to learn different mediums from working artists while discovering what it is like to be an artist. Erika Lucoff, who heads up the fundraising aspect of the event, says the goal of the event is to provide girls with opportunities that they wouldn't normally have. So often the art classes in school have limited budgets, so the result is the projects are done with limited supplies and with large class sizes. 

The artVenture is a unique way to learn art in more of an apprenticeship method. Lucoff says the experience promotes team building and teaches girls to compromise. The girls all work together to find a theme. There are many decisions that need to be made together to create the piece of art.  Girls also gain confidence with having their artwork displayed. Lucoff adds that there is a great sense of pride from both the girls and the parents at the open house.

Margie Shanahan is one of the collaborating artists who has been a part of artVenture since the beginning. Shes a glass artist who makes glass beads with a technique called lampworking. Shanahan says the project has allowed me to give back to the community in a unique way. I was a Girl Scout, and it is a wonderful program that nurtures girls into young women.

"It is a really fun event for the girls and their families. The girls are so excited to see the final product. The parents are also thrilled to see their girls excited about their work."

- Erika Lucoff

Local art teacher, Carol Greenberg worked with 7 girls to create individual 16 X 20 paintings. The girls imitated the styles of Kandinsky, Keith Haring, and Mark Rothko, but each created their own design.  Greenberg really enjoyed seeing the pride on the girls faces when they finished their pieces. "Everybody has talent and creativity in their own way. If you give guidance they can turn out something great", says Greenberg.

Tiffany Converse, a Girl Scout, worked with Greenberg and said the event was really fun. Her experience was different that "art at school because we got to actually paint on canvas, and we are having our art in a show". Not only that, the girls also got to make a Jackson Pollack style painting to take home. Greenberg said the only rules with the Pollack piece were that they kept the paint on the canvas.

John Dennison is a clay artist that is working with artVenture again this year. The girls in his group will be creating a mask project where they will take several masks of different sizes and shapes and assemble them together to make a couple of large pieces. The clay is fired at a low temperature with ink and stains applied to it to create a variegated look. Dennison says last year most of the girls hadn't had any clay experience before, so the project allows the girls to gain a new experience and develop a sense of their own abilities.

Since each of the girls pick mediums for the projects, and are matched accordingly, many end up in groups with girls that they dont know. The girls are often shy at first, but then they open up and lasting friendships are formed.

When all of the work is done, the Girl Scouts and their families will attend an open house to see their artwork on display. "It is a really fun event for the girls and their families. The girls are so excited to see the final product. The parents are also thrilled to see their girls excited about their work", says Lucoff.

If you would like to attend the artVenture auction contact Erika Lucoff at 779-8218. The auction will be held Friday, April 16th at The Scoular Ballroom on 2027 Dodge Street. Tickets are $50/person which includes appetizers and drinks. Or go to www.girlscoutsnebraska.org for more information.

-end- metroMAGAZINE

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