Annual art fair raises money for art department

By John Halloran

Tam’s annual Visual Arts Winter Faire took place on November 29-30 under a tent in Freshman Court. For two days each winter, a massive white canopy envelops the area to showcase student work from the previous semester, offer certain items for sale, and raise money in order to continue offering the school’s various art classes. The fair is organized by Patrons of the Arts at Tam High (PATH), a nonprofit subsidiary of the school that primarily fundraises for the art program. Many Tam students and touring middle schoolers visited the fair, and a few teachers released their classes early to go see it.

Some art at the Faire — like student-made pots with succulents — was for sale. The rest of it was only for display, but students were proud of the few pieces that were given price tags.

Senior JayJuan Radford, an art student seated at a pottery wheel, said, “It’s cool to see my pieces being sold there.”

Junior Paige Hartquist throws clay in a live demonstration. Photo courtesy of Gray Douglas

However, art isn’t the primary way of raising money. Direct donations by parents bring in most of the funds, along with inexpensive baked goods popular with hungry students.

“It’s great that the entire school comes together to support the art department,” volunteer parent Leslie Myers said.

Works of art decorated the right side of the tent, split between photos and ceramics. Pottery wheels were set up, allowing students to demonstrate their craft right in front of visitors. It all created a strong first impression for potential students, something PATH president Lucinda Otto stressed the importance of.

“The Art Faire is a tradition that all students have come to expect,” Otto said. “For many touring eighth graders, it’s their first introduction to the Tam Art program.”

Unlike many Tam traditions, the fair doesn’t have a long and storied history, but, art teacher Zachary Gilmour said, it doesn’t need one to be successful.

“This is the fifth year we’ve used the Winter Art Faire as a culminating Fall event for the entire visual arts,” Gilmour said. “It’s a great way to end the semester.”