The Easter baskets created by Associate Art Professor Therese Howard’s students were not the typical candy-and-chocolate-bunny types, but they did help raise money for two local charities.
These novelty Easter baskets were conjured up by Howard’s Art Appreciation and Art History classes. Each year, the students complete similar projects themed around Easter/Spring and Halloween/Autumn, and the baskets are sold in a silent auction to benefit charity.
This year’s silent auction raised $600. Half of the total will go to the Amy Schulz Child Advocacy Center in Mt. Vernon and the remaining half will benefit the Benton Humane Society.
Each semester, Howard’s students put their art skills to the test, combining all they have learned about the elements and principles of design into a real project. The Art Appreciation students are required to write an essay on their projects while the Art History students must provide precedents describing how their projects pertain to actual events or icons in art.
Howard said she usually advises her classes to spend no more than a couple of dollars on their baskets, but the students tend to go over that limit.
"They always do more, but that is good because the students are thinking beyond themselves," Howard said.
The contents of these baskets certainly were creative. They ranged from a basket filled with "Precious Moments" pieces to a picnic basket containing almost everything needed for an outdoor repast. Another was not even a basket, but a medium-sized cooler containing the necessities for a beach party.
Students were not limited strictly to baskets, either. Two submissions were cakes, one decorated with hard candy and another with icing, made to resemble stained-glass windows.