Putting the ART in PARTY

The 2013 school year is coming to a close. Port Aransas High School seniors are cramming for finals, going on job interviews, filling out enlistment papers, weighing college acceptance offers and looking forward to turning their mortarboards into Frisbees. Then it’s time to PAR-TAY!

Unfortunately, those graduation night celebrations have too many times ended in tragedy, with drinking, drugging and driving-under-the-influence resulting in jail or hospital time. A promising future that’s barely begun is ended with the slam of a paddy wagon door or worse, that of an ambulance.

But fear not, party animals. It’s Project Graduation to the rescue.

Project Graduation offers organized, adult-supervised and alcohol-free activities as part of a post-graduation party, in lieu of student-run events with alcohol or drugs. Students are checked for illicit substances before entry and are carefully monitored. Begun around 1980 in Maine, Project Graduation parties became so popular that by 1986 they were being held in all 50 states and two Canadian provinces. Events often last through the night and are held in hotels or community centers and are hugely successful.

Port Aransas High School Project GraduationIn Port Aransas, Project Graduation is being organized by Tanya Chambers who serves as Treasurer and Kathryn Guillot who serves as President. To make sure the Port Aransas Project Graduation party is a celebration worthy of any PAHS grad, Mimi Zollars and Kandice Turicchi are conducting a fundraiser for it. They invited poets and artists to submit samples of their work to a jury earlier this year. Poets could submit up to three poems. Winning artists including Robbie Felder of the Felder Gallery, Brenda Barnett of Potters on Cotter, Tim Burdick of Tim Burdick Photography and Fine Art Studio and Craig Kuhn of CLK Gallery plus PAHS student artists were each assigned a winning poem and charged with creating an original piece of art inspired by it. Paintings, textiles, sculpture, mixed media and photographs were all eligible art forms. Local community members will jury the show and will award first, second and third prizes to the best collaboration!

Thirty poems were selected from 150 submissions and I’m proud to say, mine was one of them. I’m a poet; didn’t you know it? Now you do and on Saturday, April 20, 2013, you’ll have a chance to hear “All Writers Must Wear Hats.” It’s been paired with art by Pat Reilly. Also being presented at the event are 29 other art-and-poem pairs:

Beautiful Nightmare by Jackson Willoughby. Art by Jasmine Clark
Beautiful People by Michelle Arnold. Art by Arianna Marraro
Broken Mic by Joshua McNatt. Art by Andrew Follett
Campfire by Zachary McCormick. Art by Brenda Barnett
Captured by Twilight by Julia Schnee. Art by Emerson Clark
Confession of a Sinner by Tiara Followell. Art by Elaine Kazal
Doubtless by Fallon Zollars. Art by Chase Hagedorn
Eyes to the Floor by Tyler Pate. Art by Fallon Zollars
Gentle Nature by Jesse Marraro. Art by Andrea Harwell
Haiku by Jed Magee. Art by Nancy Rasco
Hummingbirds by Alice Marks. Art by Tedra McCellan
I Miss You Tomorrow by Melanie Mayer. Art by Chris Lancaster
Jellyfish by Samantha Parker. Art by Nena Murphy Hale
Like the Ocean by Hailey Zollars. Art by Isabella Chavalita
Lost by Ryan Zollars. Art by Jeffory Ramsey
Open Eyes, Open Hearts by Arianna Marraro
Perfection by Nicholas DeLao. Art by Kayla Brown
Princesses of the Sea by Savannah Ortiz. Art by Denise Morrison
The Fall of Beauty by Gabe Tharpe. Art by Anne-Marie Moore
The Old Juniper by Eugene Blake. Art by Craig Kuhn
The Wanderer by Emerson Clark. Art by Ty Harrison
Turtle by Cameron Collins. Art by Hope Love
Torcer Torcer by Leif D. Johnson. Art by Tom McHenry
Unrepentant as Sin by Mimi Zollars. Art by Kandice Turicchi
Untitled by Brooklyn McAllen. Art by Robbie Felder
Untitled by Madison Grei Bartimmo. Arty by Tim Burdick
Winter’s Arrival by Sarah Falconer. Art by Sunne Bradmeyer

plus a “found poem ,”Love is a Serial Killercrafted by Ruby Peru Stell from some of the entries that delighted the judges but didn’t quite make the cut. It will be paired with art by Josh McNatt.

Port Aransas High School Project GraduationThe poets will read their work and the artists will show off their creations beginning at 6 p.m. on at a reception to be held at the Tim Burdick Photography and Fine Art Studio. The artwork can be purchased through a silent auction, the proceeds of which will be donated to Project Graduation to pay for games and entertainment, prizes and awards such as cash for those partygoers who stay until the end.

The poetry reading and art auction is an entertaining and enjoyable way to enjoy the work of talented writers and artists and grab up some stunning creations while helping PAHS’s newest grads get the send-off they deserve.

For more information about Project Graduation, contact Tanya Chambers at (361) 749-2272. To find out more about the poetry and art fundraising event, contact Mimi Zollars or Kandice Turicchi at portaprojectgraduation@gmail.com. Or, just come by the Tim Burdick Photography and Fine Art Studio in Suite L at 722 Tarpon St. on April 20th. I’ll see you there.–http://devorahfox.com

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