Students turn project into fundraiser for Children's Hospital

By Lindsay Larin

When International School seniors Courtney Kwong and Ann Tseng were presented with the looming Senior Project, the two friends decided to pursue an unknown skill set, all in the name of art.

Kwong began to explore the world of glass blowing and Tseng took on ceramics, two art forms neither girl had ever dabbled in before.

What began as a school project has now transformed into a bridge for giving back to the community. The two girls decided to not only create the art, but to hold an auction in hopes of raising money for the Art Therapy program at Children’s Hospital in Seattle.

The art auction, called A Palette of Art, will be held on Tuesday, April 28 at the International School in Bellevue from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The silent auction will include art pieces created by both girls along with other artists work from the local community including paintings, sculptures, and glass work.

Other students will have their own senior projects displayed throughout the school grounds during the “Auction with heART event”.

To prepare for the auction, the two girls visited a silent auction held at Sammamish High School and contacted Kip Toner of Kip Toner Benefit Auctions, to learn the in and out of hosting an auction. Turner provided them with examples biding sheets for a silent auction.

Kwong and Tseng will donate nearly 20 pieces of original art for the silent auction.

“We wanted to produce an auction that would come full circle to helps kids be creative and show the community that the arts are important,” Kwong said. “Providing children with the opportunity to experience art- well, that’s a big deal to me.”

The Art Therapy Program at Children’s caters to more than 150 kids each year and all the materials are provided solely by donations.

“I wanted to learn a new art form so I chose ceramics although I have to admit I didn’t like it at first. It felt like working with Playdough. Now that I’ve practiced and learned to work the wheel, I really enjoy it,” Tseng explained.

To learn the new art form, each girl has put hours into practicing and perfecting the art outside of classroom time. Together, they visited the Art Therapy program at Children’s Hospital and met with the program director. The Art Therapy Program is part of Therapeutic Play programs at Children’s which promote healing and help children express feelings and cope with pain. The art and music therapists work with patients at the bedside, as well as in small groups.

“It’s so important that all children have the opportunity to express themselves through art,” said Tseng and Kwong. “Art has a special way of healing. We want to share that with others.”

Lindsay Larin can be reached at 425.453.4602.

To find out more information about the “Auction with heART,” contact Ann Tseng at