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Students Donate Art for Recovering Veterans

Two Jemicy School students are painting chairs to donate to a silent auction that will raise money to help veterans recovering from chronic substance abuse.

Jemicy Upper School senior Stephanie LaPenna was painting the legs of a wooden chair blue in her art class on Friday, Nov. 9. She started the chair with dark blue at the bottom that turned lighter further up the chair, turning into a beach scene with a picturesque sunset.

For LaPenna, it’s much more than a beach scene. The painted chair represents the road to recovery for a friend of hers who overcame anorexia. The two spent a lot of time at the beach together.

She and another student will be donating their work to the fourth annual re-stART with ART fundraiser, which raises money for recovery center Baltimore Station. The fundraiser for the center, which primarily houses homeless veterans dealing with chronic substance abuse, is Friday, Nov. 16, at the Church of the Redeemer in Baltimore. Franklin High School students are also donating art to the auction.

Jemicy art teacher Pauline Savage told her students to think about how addiction affected them.

“I like the idea of trying to use art to incorporate metaphor into their consciousness,” Savage said. “A chair literally supports you.”

Junior Rick Williams was painting his chair black and white with spirals and shapes to represent what he calls “negative space.”

“The black represents what people don’t have because of the addiction of a family member,” he said. Williams lost a family member when he was very young to an addiction-related illness.

Both Williams and LaPenna had been working on their chairs for about three weeks, with the exception of days they missed for Hurricane Sandy. The project was Williams’ first painting.

“[The topic] gives a basis to think off of,” he said.

Friday’s event features arts and crafts of all kinds from students and Baltimore Station residents and graduates, and food donated by local restaurants. Last year’s event raised about $30,000 for Baltimore Station.

Baltimore Station runs two residential recovery facilities in Baltimore City, and houses 144 men in dorm-style accommodations. The men are homeless and mostly veterans dealing with chronic substance abuse problems. Friday’s event raises money for therapeutic and art programs at Baltimore Station.

re-stART with ART takes place Friday, Nov. 16, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Church of the Redeemer, located at 5603 N. Charles Street in Baltimore. Tickets are $25 in advance and can be purchased online, and will be available for $30 at the door.

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