Art in the Afternoon donates $1,000 to Black Mountain Library to support children's section

Ezra Maille
Black Mountain News
Art in the Afternoon donated the proceeds from its silent auction to the library on July 22.

Teachers and students of Art in the Afternoon presented a donation of all the proceeds from a recent auction to members of the Friends of the Library on July 22. 

"It's an after school program that's fine arts based," said S. Bly, a teacher with Art in the Afternoon.

Raising $1,000, there were 27 pieces on this year's auction. According to Bebe Woodside, vice president of Friends of the Library, the money will go toward purchasing two more art pieces by an artist with illustrations already present in the children's section of the library.

"He's an illustrator, local artist," Woodside said. "The remaining money we will buy art books for children."

Bly said this coming school year marks 15 years for the program. All the kids involved attend local schools, arriving at Art in the Afternoon after school to create hands-on art projects ranging from mosaics to pottery, painting, collage and drawing. 

In addition to art instruction, Bly said the children learn conflict resolution. Rather than punishing misbehavior, students learn how to resolve conflicts together.

Each day, the program hosts roughly 30 children who are divided among three instructors. 

"We do collaborations with the kids," Bly said. "We're like artists in residence who work with kids."

The collaboration pieces make up a silent auction. Bly said while most of the buyers are parents, 100% of the money raised each year is donated to a local charity or organization. 

The charity piece began eight years ago, funding various projects such as local playgrounds and giving to Bounty & Soul. This year marks the first year supporting the library. 

"I don't know why I never thought of it," Bly said. 

Bly said Art in the Afternoon is accepting applications. Applicants should email blackmountainartteacher@gmail.com. 

Ezra Maille covers the town of Black Mountain, Montreat and the Swannanoa Valley. Reach him at 828-230-3324 or emaille@blackmountainnews.com. Please support local journalism with access to more breaking news by subscribing.