Southwick student art auction today

SOUTHWICK – If you have walked through the halls of Powder Mill School, you have probably noticed the original artwork hand-painted on tiles by students over the years.
With the upcoming renovations at the school, the fate of the tiles was not looking good. Were it not for the hard work of a group of eighth graders, they would have likely been destroyed.
Members of the Art Rescue Team (ART) painstakingly researched the artist of each of the 250 pieces and contacted that person if possible. The owners were able to take home their art and the unclaimed tiles will be available for auction.
The group includes eighth graders Emily Lachtara, Allison Scharmann, Emma Paul, Julia Baker and Caroline Methe.
The gallery and auction is set for tonight from 6-7 p.m. at Powder Mill School. The tiles will be on display in the library hallway, cafeteria, and office lobby. Opening bids start at $5. The highest bidder at 7 p.m. wins the art and may take their original home.
According to teacher Susan Pac, the proceeds from this event will go toward the creation of a professional collage canvas of favorite tiles to be placed on permanent display in the district, perhaps at the library.
The ART group made a request to the Board of Selectmen that any remaining tiles be displayed or stored at Town Hall.
Selectman Russell Fox spoke with John Westcott, the town’s supervisor of buildings and grounds, to find a home for the pieces.
“We’re going to put the large painting up high in the Town Hall lobby and John is going to get one of the tiles to see if it will fit in the selectmen’s room,” said Fox. ‘We’re going to try to find a place for what is left.”
Fox said he already took ownership of his daughter’s artwork – a giraffe – and is going to frame it in his home.
Pac said the group is also seeking other local offices, such as pediatric offices and banks, willing to display the tiles.
ART is a Future Problem Solvers team advised by Pac. The group submitted their project to the Massachusetts Community Problem Solving State Competition and placed first in the Middle Division. They will be representing Massachusetts and Powder Mill Middle School at the International Competition to be held at the University of Indiana, June 5-9, 2013.

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