Art students collaborate with Society of St. Vincent de Paul for upcoming fundraiser

Allegra Thatcher, Assistant Editor.

St. Vincent de Paul of Northern Kentucky is branching out with an all-new fundraising event: an art night in cooperation with students from local universities. In an event titled “Creative Compassion: A Night of Art for our Neighbors in Need,” the society invites guests and donors to New Riff Distillery in Newport on Thursday, Feb. 6, 6–9 p.m.

The innovative evening will feature a silent auction of student-created artwork, as well as heavy appetizers and drinks by Eat Well Celebrations and Feasts.

“We’re trying to be creative in the way we reach out to the community,” said Karen Zengel, executive director.

“Our partners across the river in Cincinnati do a fashion show in partnership with DAAP at University of Cincinnati and so we wanted to do some- thing similar but different,” she said.

That’s how Ms. Zengel and her coworkers found them- selves in classrooms at Northern Kentucky University (NKU) inviting students from the School of the Arts to choose an item off a shelf at the Thrift Store and create a work of art from it. The pieces will be on display at the event and auctioned off.

“Our mission has the opportunity to fundraise and the students get some exposure to people who might be interested in commissioning art from them in the future,” said Ms. Zengel. “It’s a good way for them to network their talent.”

The students, 22 in all, will each split the proceeds of the silent auction with the center. Most are from NKU, but students from the University of Cincinnati, Mount St. Joseph and even Notre Dame Academy are also contributing. Ms. Zengel said the pace picked up in November and December after the word spread about the project.

The silent auction features the artwork as well as donated baskets and some unique donations from the various thrift stores, such as fur coats and decorative vases.

“That’s so everyone can get a feel that a thrift store is much more than second hand clothing,” said Ms. Zengel. “Basic necessities are important to our mission,but some of those more unique items we’re able to sell for the benefit of our programs.” A key factor to the event, she said, is to help people understand that “when you make a donation to St. Vincent de Paul, your donation goes back to helping us spread that goodness. … We couldn’t do it without community support.”

Ms. Zengel especially credited presenting sponsor MidWest Pay Link as well as St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Trivaco, Forcht Bank, Altus Wealth Management, Eagle Savings Bank and Assured Insurance for supporting the event.

She and her committee of staff and volunteers can’t wait to see the artwork come in and the turnout at the distillery.
Tickets are on sale now at $65 a ticket. Tickets can be purchased on the St. Vincent de Paul NKY home page at