Pet Portrait Fundraiser

National Art Honor Society launches annual fundraiser
Junior Aradhya Bharti’s completed charcoal pet portrait of a dog named Blue.
Junior Aradhya Bharti’s completed charcoal pet portrait of a dog named Blue.

The National Art Honor Society (NAHS) is an organization dedicated to providing national recognition and opportunities for students who excel in the field of visual arts. Every year, NAHS holds its annual pet portrait fundraiser to raise money for local animal shelters. In previous years, the club has donated $600 to the Williamson County Animal Shelter and $250 to Texas Humane Heroes.

For $30 per portrait, anyone is welcome to submit a picture of their pet in exchange for a unique artwork in their preferred media.

“It feels good that you’re creating not a drawing to be framed but a memory to be cherished,” president Aradhya Bharti said. “Pets are your best friends and you’re giving them a memory to remember them by.”

The fundraiser began in 2018 when a club member mentioned that they were getting commissions to paint pictures of pets. 

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“All of the members decided that it would be a good idea, because most of [them] are artistically inclined,” NAHS sponsor Cynthia Acevedo said. “Ever since then, it has become pretty popular, not just with the staff here, but we have individuals from across the district ordering.”

The initial goal was to promote community building within the club and collect funds. As time went on, the club began allocating proceeds towards field trips and supporting other projects such as Knots of Love.

“[Knots of Love] is a project where we crochet hats and beanies for cancer patients and NICU babies,” Bharti said. “It’s things like these that fundraisers make it possible to even think of doing and ordering materials for. I feel like starting off the year on this high only motivates us to do more because this went so well.”

Before COVID-19, the club faced massive success by delivering and showcasing pet portraits at RaiderCon which was discontinued in 2018. This year, the club received 25 orders in total. 

“We had a smaller amount than years in the past,” Acevedo said. “I’m sure it had a lot to do with the way that the world is right now with everything being so expensive and whatnot.”

In the future, they plan on implementing a fundraiser in the second semester as well. 

“We have more people coming to us when it’s around the holidays,” Acevedo said. “But that puts a crunch on some students because that also includes the time period of exams and preparing for the end of the semester. I’ve had students request to have a fundraiser in the springtime as well.”

For this year’s spring art show, the club plans to provide student artists with the opportunity to sell their art. 

“Our goal as an organization is to promote student art and those who can do it at such a great level that it inspires people around them,” Bharti said. “We always promote helping your fellow peers and dedicating yourself to the wellbeing of your community through art.”

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