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"Convergence" event brings together art appreciation and community awareness

Students from the art, music and culinary programs at Plymouth Regional High School gathered for a group photo as their fundraiser, "Convergence," got underway last Thursday evening. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
April 19, 2017
PLYMOUTH — "Convergence" was a special event held at Plymouth Regional High School on April 13, when students came together to present an evening of fine arts, which raised money for The Circle Program and Communities for Alcohol- and Drug-free Youth, more commonly known as CADY.

The PRHS gymnasium was transformed into an art gallery for the event, with 120 works of art done by students hung on the walls and showcased with intimate spotlighting. Each of the pieces were not just on display however, they were part of a silent auction to raise money for this year's selected nonprofit agencies. Among those, 22 of the entries were created especially for the fundraiser, including a portrait made from colored Gratitude Stones that girls from The Circle Program receive at camp each summer.

"We're just delighted," commented Kathleen Kearns of The Circle Program. "It's incredible that they dedicated so much of this art toward raising money for us. You can certainly say that gratitude is the attitude."

One of the artists whose work was up for bid was senior Jack Friedman of Holderness, who presented a digital photograph of the moon, titled "Rising Above."

"I've loved art ever since I was little, and I love drawing the clouds and the moon. This shows such a surreal landscape and just captured part of my imagination," he said.

Besides bidding on the original, people were also able to purchase prints of his and other selections, along with some specially designed tee shirts, digital and graphic art works done by the students.

Celine and Bob Richer were among the many community members who attended the event and praised the students for their work and the whole idea of "Convergence."

"It's a good way to raise money and a good way to open the public up to what students are doing in school today," said Celine.

There was more than just physical art to prove that point, too, as participants of the event were treated to h'orderves from the culinary arts program as well. In the center of the room, a jazz ensemble, comprised of Austin Sanders, Arman Zarghani-Shiraz, Peter Templeton and Ethan Whitman also provided a soft musical backdrop, along with solo piano selections, which Templeton performed later in the evening.

In between the musical presentations, there were also poetry readings by students Garrett Macomber, Lydia Mardin, Becca Peterson and Troy Tedeschi.

As Macomber, captain of the PRHS football team, led off with his selection, Pemi-Baker School Superintendent Mark Halloran noted that he was recently named the New Hampshire Gatorade Player of the Year.

"You don't see this everywhere- a top athlete reading poetry. It just goes to show how well-rounded our students are," he said.

Ashland resident Michele D'Ambuso said her daughter Rachel was one of the artists involved in the event and she was impressed with how the whole evening came together. "It's just amazing. You can tell this was well thought out and it's just remarkable to hear the music, the poetry and everything as you look at all of this great art," D'Ambuso said.

At the end of the night, PRHS art teacher Lynn Sanborn was pleased to announce that the event raised $7,000 that will be divided between the two organizations, nearly double what was during the last "Convergence" fundraiser.

"Their work is just such high level and the messages in many of the pieces are so deep. It actually brought tears to me eyes," said Deb Naro, executive director of CADY. "I also want to say how grateful we are to the school for coordinating and hosting this remarkable event and for the community's strong support.  So many people came out to support the students, CADY, and Circle Program.  I was so touched."

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