By Meghan Powers
Assistant Arts & Life Editor
Free food and an open bar were not the only things that attracted students to the Student Art Raffle in Bryant Arts Center on Feb. 25. This first annual event also gave attendees the opportunity to win one of eight pieces by Denison studio art students. All the money raised through raffle tickets was donated to The Salvation Army of Newark.
Kappa Pi Art Honorary Fraternity sponsored the event, in conjunction with Denison’s Studio Art and Art History departments. When Emily Bongiovanni ’15, art history major, became president of Kappa Pi, she wanted to increase the two and half year old fraternity’s presence on campus. Donating artist Abbie Thill ‘16 said that the event was “a great way to show off what students are doing in various areas of studio art.”
The event sparked curiosity throughout the art department as Bongiovanni asked for donations. “A lot of artwork that students make for classes gets thrown away or left behind, so I thought this would be a really great way for students to donate art they don’t want anymore and raise money,” Bongiovanni said.
Artists’ donations included a photograph by Zane Osler ’16, three skeleton prints by Abbie Thill ’16, a fiber art piece by Janie Hall ’15, a sketch by Katie Kuhns ’15, a vibrant painting by Camie Bosnik ’15 and a print by Taylor Proctor ’17.
Bongiovanni noted that it was not hard to get students to donate because of the “really special community in Bryant” among art students. She found it particularly easy to get artists to donate prints. “The great thing about doing prints is that you can make many copies, so that’s definitely why we had more of them than anything else,” she said.
Despite her ability to recreate her prints, Thill had difficulty choosing which works to donate. “It was a little tough to donate because I wanted to give my best pieces, but those were also the pieces I was most attached to,” she said. Though she is happy with all of her art, Thill found it hard to predict what others would like. She ended up choosing pieces that she could temporarily part with, until she is able to reprint them.
To Camie Bosnik ‘15, another art donor, the raffle served as an affirmation of her ability as an artist. “I have a strange unconventional painting technique and I’m excited about the positive feedback I’ve been getting,” Bosnik said. “It’s a piece of art. It’s meant to be seen.”
The event began as a meet and greet for art students and faculty, allowing the art department to have a pivotal role. Students and faculty discussed summer internships and ways to get involved in the department, before the raffle began. This allowed not only Kappa Pi members to be involved, but the event became beneficial for the whole department.
Overall the event was “much more than expected,” Bongiovanni said. She hopes that this art raffle will become an annual event for Kappa Pi to continue their presence on campus. The Salvation Army of Newark was excited to receive over $300 in donations, and eight Denison students left Bryant with some new décor for their dorm rooms.