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The Dansville Online
  • ‘Steel Blossoms’ unveiling draws crowd, sparks enthusiasm

  • The Star Theatre was packed Saturday as an enthusiastic crowd came out for the official unveiling of “Steel Blossoms,” a fundraiser for American Red Cross Clara Barton Chapter #1.


    The fundraiser is a series of metal sculptures created by the Genesee Valley Educational Partnerships’ metal trades students.

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  • Maybe they should have charged admission.
    The Star Theatre was packed Saturday as an enthusiastic crowd came out for the official unveiling of “Steel Blossoms,” a fundraiser for American Red Cross Clara Barton Chapter #1.
    The fundraiser is a series of metal sculptures created by the Genesee Valley Educational Partnerships’ metal trades students.
    Olie Olson, instructor, brought the students (those who were able to attend the presentation) up front with him as he spoke.
    He thanked the students, GVEP?adminstration, Dansville High School and the businesses of Dansville for this opportunity.
    “This is pretty special to all of us,”?he said.
    Olson, who initiated the idea after a Mt. Morris project launched by Greg O’Connell, said afterward that the students can take pride in having used their talents to partner with the historic first chapter of American Red Cross.
    A.J. Smith, a metal trades student from Dansville, said the project was a great way to express his creativity while doing something good for the community.
    His sculpture, “Pretty Perch,”?is on display at Smile By Design/ Union Hose. “Hearts of Gold,”?a sculpture he co-created with Corey Hale, a Wayland-Cohocton student and two others, is on display at Noyes Health.
    Both GVEP morning and afternoon classes, which encompassed 46 students in 11 school districts, worked to create more than 45 metal sculptures, almost all encompass a garden theme.
    In addition, two Dansville High School art students, Jillian Kahn and Cody Schuster, also participated.
    “I think it’s a tremendous opportunity,”?high school art teacher Greg McMaster said. “There’s college kids that don’t have this type of opportunity to collaborate on a project this scale and end up with a strong portfolio.”
    The sculptures were delivered throughout town last Wednesday via a Main Tire delivery truck. The metal sculptures will be on display throughout Dansville for the next six weeks, then will be auctioned off June 2 at 6 p.m. inside Dansville Moose Lodge. All proceeds will go to support the local Red Cross Chapter.
    “It’s a wonderful fundraiser for us,”?Sandy Shaw, Clara Barton Chapter executive director said. “It’s just going to help us provide the services we need here.”
    She also said watching the sculptures transform from the beginning stages through to completion was a real treat.
    A sculpture of a cross within a circle will be on permanent display inside the chapter house.
    A drawing for $100 in gift certificates for local businesses will be conducted during the auction as well. Entrants need not be present to win.
    Page 2 of 2 - To participate in the drawing, contestants need to collect at least 10 signatures from participating businesses and return the entry form to Star Theatre for a free ticket (with purchase of one ticket) or drop off at Dansville Stationers.  
    To further promote the cause, the 44th annual Dogwood Festival has decided to coincide with the sculpture fundraiser by adopting, “Gardenscapes as Seen Through the Eyes of our Youth” as this year’s theme.
    Barry Haywood, Clara Barton board chair and Dogwood festival chair said with gratitude, “Mr. Olson, your students, I hope you recognize our appreciation for what you’ve done, for us to adopt this theme in your honor.”
    The Dogwood festival will take place May 14 through 20.
    This is the second sculpture fundraiser the GVEP?metal trades students have conducted. The first was “Angels in the Village” last year. Angel sculptures were displayed throughout the village of Mt. Morris, then auctioned off as a fundraiser for Theresa House.
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