By Josh Gill
The Baylor and Waco community will find art is a way for people to show off their talent today.
The Baylor Piper Children’s Art Gala and Auction, featuring photographs and paintings by children at the Piper Center for Family Studies and Child Development and other pieces by various Baylor faculty artists, will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. today in the Martin Museum foyer of the Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center. The art gala is free and open to the public.
The event will feature a silent auction for the photographs and paintings made by the children, who range in age from 2 months to 5 years old. There will also be art donated by various Baylor faculty artists, such as the ceramic bowls made by professor of art Paul McCoy and glazed by the Piper children.
There will also be activities for children to enjoy, such as printmaking and making their own cards, story time, and a kids’ “Create and Explore” center.
The art gala and silent auction will be put on through a joint effort by Baylor and the Piper Center for Family Studies and Child Development.
“We are a lab school for the department of family and consumer sciences and our specific area is child and family studies,” said Barbara Crosby, director of the Piper Center. “I think the main thing is to support what we’re doing here with our students at Baylor, giving them a premier hands-on experience for what they’re doing in the classroom. It’s so that students will have greater understanding of what quality childcare is and support to families is. That’s very important.”
The Piper Center is the only childcare facility in Waco accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
H. Jennings Sheffield, assistant professor of art in the department of fine arts, is helping organize the event.
She has had two children attend the center. She said her oldest son has recently graduated from the Piper Center and her 3-year-old son is currently attending the center.
“We hope that a lot of people from Baylor will come,” Sheffield said. “It’s just to support the children and for them to get their artwork out there. I also think it’s a great reminder that art is fun, or should be, I guess.”
Sheffield will be organizing the photography to be auctioned. The photography was taken by the Piper children. Sheffield and Virginia Green, associate professor of art in the department of fine arts, will be running the printmaking activities for the gala.
A number of other Baylor faculty members have also donated art pieces to be sold in the silent auction.
“It helps with the activities that we do for children like the fall festival, the Christmas party and then, like this spring, we’re doing a butterfly release,” Crosby said. “We do different activities each day to celebrate children just this one week each year. This week is the week of the child and it culminates in this art gala.”
Crosby and Sheffield said they encourage people of all ages to come have fun.
“Our goal is to make this family friendly so that parents can enjoy and family can enjoy,” Crosby said.
Not only is it designed to entertain all age groups, but it will also provide an opportunity for people to support local artists.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to get art from these professors,” Sheffield said. “It’s a great opportunity to go buy art from your local artists who are showing internationally.”
People with questions about the art gala or about the Piper Center for Family Studies and Child Development can call the center at 254-710-4373.