Ornaments at the Whitehouse.
It is well known in the art world that although a larger percentage of artists are women, it is moreover men that succeed in art. Studying with Calvin Goodman, author of seven books on Art Marketing, taught her that marketing is an important tool that when utilized correctly can bring success. Cobble Creek Studios was growing, however, she knew that it would be important to not only be recognized on a local, regional and state level, but also on a national level.
Each year CCS offers an Art Camp the first week of June, so in 2013 she developed an idea for the children to paint 4”x5” paintings of all the Presidents and put them into ornate frames and donate them to the White House. She thought that they could be used as ornaments for the White House Christmas tree. The Art Camp was successful with over 25 students working on the portraits from ages 8 – 18. They also learned the history behind the presidents and unusual facts about the White House. When the ornaments were finished, they were beautiful and the children were so proud.
She then did a web search on Christmas ornaments for the White House and learned there was a museum in D.C for them. Through additional research, she found out who the head of the museum was and emailed and followed up with a phone call. After several phone calls, she was on the phone with who turned out to be the Social Secretary of Mrs. Obama. She emailed the image of one of the ornaments to her. Later in a return call, they turned down the ornaments because they already had a different theme in mind for the ornaments for that year in the Blue Room(2013). However, as they spoke, the image of the ornaments were seen by Carlos Elizondo, the Social Secretary for V.P. Biden. He asked for Deborah’s name and number and then called her to mention that he was interested in the portraits, but that he would also like the children to create the Vice Presidents portraits too! Deborah told him that the children would be excited to have this opportunity. He told her that he would need to discuss the theme with Dr. Jill Biden. Within days, they contacted Deborah and said the theme for the Vice President’s residence would be “Holiday’s Past and Present” and they would be seen on the Vice President’s Christmas tree. Now the question was, how would they get all the Vice President portraits done, because, by that time, the art camp was over. So, as it turns out, she gathered all the students back again to now paint the Vice Presidents portraits. One of her students, Joanna Andrews, painted Vice President Biden’s portraits and wrote a letter to him to accompany his portrait. Weeks later the children received a letter to Joanna from Vice President Biden thanking the children for the wonderful job they had done, but also to remark to Joanna that he thought his suit she painted was very classy! This letter was presented to her by the instructors at the school among her classmates. Everyone was happy!
After Christmas, Deb was asked by Mr. Elizondo, if the students would like to have them returned or have them put in the White House archieves. Of course, they chose the archives and were later told they were going to build and dedicate an entire wall to all the ornaments, which I hope I get to see when I visit my son and go to D.C. for Christmas. Here is the link to viewing the ornaments on the tree: Christmas at the Vice President’s Home 2013 http://www.hgtv.com/shows/white-house-christmas-2014/step-inside-the-vice-presidents-home-during-the-holidays-pictures
Bread Baskets for “Boot The Hunger”
As Deb became involved in and connected to the Southeast Gwinnett Co-Op Ministry and saw empty shelves at the Co-Op, she struggled for six months or so as to how she could be pro-active. As she thought of the empty shelve she thought of empty baskets, bread baskets. She knew her classes of youngsters would want to help give back to those who are struggling and hence the Bread Baskets for “Boot the Hunger” was born. They would purchase baskets and the youngsters would decorate and paint the baskets which would then be displayed online by the end of October. There people could bid online on the baskets on Cobble Creek Studios website and all proceeds will go to Southeast Gwinnett Co-Op Ministry. With a total of 70 baskets, even a minimum bid of $10 would net $700 to the Co-Op. The last bids were to be taken/raised at the Anniversary on November 7th and winners of baskets announced at 8:00 PM that evening. $700? No, not even close, these awesome young people were able to raise $1,315, nearly double what they had hoped for. At the same time, each time the young people came to the studio they were asked to bring one non-perishable item to the studio to help fill a Publix shopping cart she has there to overflowing to also take over to the Co-Op. This is just one more example of the giving caring attitude I continue to see here in our awesome HomeTown, Snellville U.S.A.
Please take a minute to look at the Cobble Creek Art Studios website,http://cobblecreekstudios.com/, and drop by sometime to see the Gallery and some of the awesome things the young people and adults are doing there.