Art Teacher Sells Artwork to Fund Art Scholarship for Students

An art teacher at John Glenn High School is looking to leave behind a legacy before he ultimately retires, which he said is something he’s lately been thinking a little about. John Thomas has been an art teacher at the high school for 40 years, and he said he’s decided to build up some scholarship funds to give to art-focused students looking for a degree in visual arts.

Thomas explained he wanted to start the scholarship because of the high fees related to an arts course.

“I saw a need for my students,” said Thomas. “We have a lot of scholarship winners here, and they sometimes win scholarships up to $80,000, but, these schools tend to be $35,000 a year, and then when they start school, they end up having to put $500 or more first semester into art supplies. I even had one student who had to drop out from school because she had to buy that art supply kit plus she had to buy a laptop computer. So I said I want to meet that need.” (02-05-13 – Thomas – Meet That Need)

So, Thomas said he started a scholarship fund through the Marshall County Community Foundation, and how he’s tasked himself with raising enough money to get that scholarship off the ground. He has a goal in mind of $10,000, to allow a $500 scholarship to be awarded each year.

To that end, Thomas found 200 works of art that he’d created as demonstration pieces for his students, and he kicked off his art sale at the school’s Falloween Fest, where he sold approximately 75 items and raised roughly $7500 for the scholarship. He said he hopes to make the scholarship self-sustaining.

Thomas said he’s not sure yet when he’ll retire, but he knows it’s coming soon. He has built up his collection of art over 40 years, and now he’s looking to sell it. His works are currently for sale and on display at Heartland Artists Gallery in Plymouth during this month, located at 103 W. LaPorte Street. The gallery can be viewed from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and an artist reception is scheduled for Feb. 9 from 1 to 4 p.m. Thomas said he will speak at the reception at 2:30 p.m.