According to organizer Reyna Lingemann, each of Bonny Doon Elementary's 125 students selected three pieces for display at the event — be they mosaics, oil pastels, Lego pieces, or even robots made from recycled materials.
Every piece on display, Lingemann said, was made by a student participating in the school's community-funded art program.
“It's a nice way to open the school to the community and showcase what our teachers have been doing for the art program,” she said. “We decided to have a gallery opening because we wanted the Bonny Doon community to see where their money is going and what their school is about.”
Funding for the school's art program comes from a community fundraising collective known as the Bonny Doon Communuity School Foundation.
For the past 12 years, the foundation has hosted the Bonny Doon Art and Wine Festival as its primary source of fundraising revenue for the school's art, music, and science programs.
“We just wouldn’t have those programs at all if it weren’t for the (festival),” said Becky Jacobs, the primary organizer of this year's event, which is scheduled for Saturday, June 21 at the Bonny Doon Equestrian Park.
For the $55 price of admission, this year's 21-and-up event will feature the works of more than two dozen local artists and craftspeople, as well as tastings from a dozen vintners, several local brewers, and catered food from local chef Tabitha Stroup, owner of Friend in Cheeses Jam Co.
The event will also feature live music, as well as a pair of auctions — one live and one silent.
“We really get a lot of community support,” said Lingemann. “We have a lot of Bonny Doon sponsors and a lot of Santa Cruz sponsors.”
This year's featured artist is Bonny Doon painter Jessica Vaughn, who specializes in folk nature paintings.
All the funds raised from the event will be contributed to the school's programs, Jacobs said.
Since the event's inception, funds raised allowed the Bonny Doon Communuity School Foundation to create a $100,000 endowment — a “rainy-day fund” as Jacobs calls it — for the school.
That $100,000 goal was achieved last year, Jacobs said, and has already accrued some $9,000 in interest. Now, she said, funds raised can go directly to the school's programs.
“Because we've met that goal,” Jacobs said, “every cent we make, we want to spend it on the school.”
Last year's event alone raised some $43,000, Lingemann said — “our most successful year.”
While most of that went toward the school's art, music and science programs, some of it also went toward helping pay for Bonny Doon Elementary teachers to participate in education seminars and workshops.
“All proceeds go to the school in various capacities,” Jacobs said. “Part of our mission is also for professional development.”
For more information about the Bonny Doon Art and Wine Festival, visit http://www.bonnydoonartandwinefestival.com/