Students Participate In Community Service Initiative

Ashley True, Copy Editor

Students at Black Hills State University are taking initiative in a community service project with the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City.

BHSU Art Club members and volunteers were given the choice of a Trikky, Raffy, or a Foomi – all of which were white vinyl cast toys. These cast toys originally come as figures in the shape of cats, giraffes and monkeys but can be molded into almost anything.

After students received the blank figure, they could carve it, paint it, sculpt it, add to, and anything else students could think of to give the figurine its own personality. Ethan Engel, a mass communication and art major said, “We were free to do anything our heart desired.”

“I used bed-springs as wires, washers, gears, wire circuits from a radio, and PC7 [a gold paste],”said Engel. “Mine kind of has a steampunk, sci-fi look.”

Kidrobot, the company by which the vinyl toys are sold, sells the figures at manufacturing price for fundraising purposes.

The Rapid City Art Council, along with Find A Way Collective, are putting on an event called “All My Plastic People” where these creative pieces will be auctioned off. The Dahl is expecting over 100 entries.

According to the Dahl Art Center’s website, “All the proceeds from the event will help in supporting our Teen and Young Adult Art Education Program.”

“This project brings major funds for the Find A Way Collective,” said Desy Schoenewies, assistant professor of art at BHSU, “We had about 25 students complete pieces for this project.”

Elementary Education major, Vannea Peay, personalized a Raffy Toy – her inspiration came from an optical illusion drawing she made last year.

“I started off with a Sharpie to create my lines and then I used acrylic paint for the final pattern that you see. I also put a gel medium on top to protect the paint from wear and tear,” Peay said. “I am pleased with the waymyRaffy came outandhope itraisesa good amount of money at theauction.”

This is the second year BHSU students have submitted pieces for this fundraiser. Schoeneweis says she is looking forward to this being an annual event in the years to come. The finished pieces will be on display until the custom vinyl toy art show and benefit auction, which takes place at the Dahl Arts Center, in Rapid City on May 3, 2014.

This is a free admission event to all ages. The Dahl’s website said, “This show is bound to bring out the kid in all of us!”

The emcee will be Crissy from HOT 93.1 and the auction will feature a DJ, refreshments, and other surprises.

Good luck to our BHSU students, faculty, and all of their plastic people.