Art class supports homeless shelter

GENOA – Cindy Newman couldn’t find what she was looking for.

Like the rest of his classmates, her 18-year-old son, Billy, a senior at Genoa-Kingston High School, had made three ceramic mugs in Lisa Beynon’s introductory art class. Beynon said each student in her six-week ceramic unit was allowed to keep one mug and then buy the other two or donate them to her fifth annual Mugs and Hugs fundraiser. Proceeds from the fundraiser, which was held last Friday, are divided between the G-K art department and Hope Haven, DeKalb County’s homeless shelter.

Newman said she learned about the event a few months ago when she saw one of the mugs in the guidance counselor’s office. Unsold mugs are either given as presents to teachers and staff or kept for next year’s sale. Newman thought the colorful mugs were such a neat idea, she put the event on her calendar.

As luck would have it, her son participated in the class this year.

“He just didn’t tell her what he made,” Beynon said. She said most of those who purchase the food-safe mugs are parents.

With the help of Beynon and juniors Callie Busby, Nicole Hebel and Maribel Tinajero, Newman searched the names etched onto the bottoms of more than 100 mugs, without any luck.

“I guess someone bought it,” she said. “That’s a good sign. Someone thought it was a quality product, or maybe they thought he’d be famous some day.”

Newman was even happier to buy a mug made by her son’s friend Oskar Naumann, a foreign exchange student from Germany.

“I am real happy,” Newman said. “It will be a nice memento (of his time here). I hope they keep in touch.”

To paraphrase Beynon’s attitude about her students – once one of her students, always one of her students – once a friend, always a friend.