8-year Old Austin Curator Raises
Money for Cancer

8-year old Patricia "Patty" Alfonso is a student at Parkside Community School in Austin, TX. There, she found her inspiration for an art exhibit to benefit children's cancer research - Georgia Moore. Georgia is the sister of Patty's friend Ivy, and was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, a cancer of the blood.

"I want to do something to raise money for kids with cancer" Patricia told her parents Naydimar and Jorge. "Okay, what did you have in mind?" her mother asked.  "I'm not sure exactly. I like to swim, run, and ride my bike.  Maybe people will pay me to do those things."  Her mom hesitated, "A triathlon? That's big Patty. Why don't you come up with another idea?" Two weeks later, Patricia asked her parents "Have we decided how we are going to raise money?  I like to paint rocks and canvasses.  Maybe we can sell my art in a gallery." And with that, the idea for the "Art for Donation and Expression of Love" art exhibit was born.

Naydimar shared the idea with Patricia's godfather, who knew an owner of an art gallery. He ran the idea passed Lisa Russell, owner of Russell Collection and Fine Arts, an art studio in Austin, TX and she was immediately all for it. Naydimar was shocked to have secured a venue so quickly. 

Naydimar knew that they would need more than one artist to have a strong impact. Patricia suggested asking her classmates to contribute artwork and the next thing they knew, the entire school was on board.  Naydimar secured donations of art supplies from local stores and the students of Parkside Community School, ages 2 to 14, stayed after school to create paintings on canvasses and clay vases for the exhibit. The students gave of their time freely, with the intent to help put an end to children's cancer.  

Art for Donation and Expression of Love derived from a conversation between a young girl and her parents.  Now in its second year, the exhibit has already raised more than $6,200 for CureSearch for Children's Cancer and has showcased artwork from not only Parkside Community School, but also the work of Georgia's classmates from her new school Ann Richards School For Young Women Leaders, and friends and family. But, they won't stop there.  "I want to help lots of people, so Georgia gets more medicine and the other kids do too." Patricia explains. Patricia and her mother have already started planning for next year's event where they hope to get involvement from other schools as well.

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Christine Bork
Email Christine
(800) 458-6223

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