Rockwood South Middle art teacher Jeff Sass won a grant from the St. Louis Art Fair program known as Student Art Aficionados, or SAA.
“We are one of 11 schools selected,” said Sass. “Each school may send three students to act as representatives. These students were treated as VIPs at the St. Louis Art Fair on Sept. 9, and will be commissioned with the task of spending a $1,500 budget to purchase two works of art. One will be permanently installed at Rockwood South Middle. The other will be for the Art Fair’s permanent traveling collection.”
Sass said the piece of art in the traveling collection will be identified by a sign that explains it was donated by the students of South Middle.
“I hope this experience broadens what art is to them and what it could be,” said Sass. “I hope they learn to appreciate creativity in others.”
The grant will also allow students to experience the business side of art.
“They do,” said Sass. “They get to see that adults can’t have everything we want. If you have grant money, you have to determine how you’re going to spend it. You have to find something that fits your budget.”
Sass said the students will be chosen by application process from the school’s art fundamentals class. The class as a whole will participate in choosing which artists’ work the three students will consider for purchase.
“The Student Art Aficionados Program will bring a multi-faceted arts education experience to grades five through nine in the Greater St. Louis area,” said St. Louis Art Fair Deputy Director Laura Miller. “The program will explore art as a personal preference, as a reflection of culture, and as a business.”
The Rockwood South Middle students were recognized at a reception at the Third Degree Glass Factory on Sept. 28.