December 15, 2015  |  News, Stories

Small 2014 Mini-Arts Grant Leaving a Huge Impact.

A very small mini-arts grant is having a huge and lasting impact on art students in Zionsville. Jennifer Gibson, Art Teacher at Zionsville Middle School, was at the IndIMG_0945iana Museum of Art when she noticed an old cigarette vending machine that had been refurbished to sell one of a kind, small art pieces at a low cost. She used the idea to write a 2014 mini-art grant to the Community Arts Endowment at the Community Foundation of Boone County. With just $260.00 and an idea, Mrs. Gibson created an art lesson with lasting impact.

Inspired by miniature artist, Lorraine Loots, who makes “paintings for ants,” she and the children came up with ideas and themes of miniature art works they could create that would fit in vending machine capsules. Using the mini-art grant, Mrs. Gibson purchased a vending machine and plastic vending capsules and set the plan in motion. Students visited mini-art creation stations around the class room where they created and filled their capsules with one of a kind art works. Students and teachers throughout the school could purchase them for $0.50. “Our machine was empty before the end of the first nine weeks.”

The students recently opened the machine and counted the quarters. Students decided they wanted to give the money to the Best Buddies Program at the school so that that program can purchase items to use in their bake shop.

“We were planning on using this for a one-time art session, but it’s become so much more. It’s the perfect lesson. It teaches and gets the kids excited about art and gives back at the same time.”

2015 Mini Art Grant Award Winners listed here.