Beacon for Hope held their Art Inspired by Hope event on Saturday where they showcased the artwork submitted, held a silent auction for the top three entries and had murals for people to color.  The event was originally scheduled for Friday but was pushed to Saturday due to the Hornet Connection happening Friday. 

“For our first time it was a decent turn out,” said Melissa Kurtenbach, executive director of Beacon for Hope. “What we really wanted to happen was the different types of pieces, people’s different interpretations of hope, different people would be able to connect to different pieces, they could relate to what was coming through in the art and people did so that was exciting.”

Art Inspired by Hope was conceived during a meeting where they (Beacon for Hope) were brainstorming how they could reach groups of individuals in our community who utilize art as a form of expression, coping mechanism, or profession. 

“The goal of the event was to connect our community through pieces of art that they could relate to,” Kurtenbach said. “Being able to identify with the pieces created reassures individuals they are not alone in their fight with their own personal struggles.”

Twenty-six artists entered the event and the top three pieces were auctioned off as part of the silent auction. The art ranged from drawings and paintings to glass blowing, a crocheted blanket and some wood-nail art.

“We had five professors and then two third or fourth year art students to do judging for that,” said Beth Wright, president of Hornets for Hope, board member for Beacon of Hope and freshman art education and art therapy major. “We made up a sheet and they were judged on technique, composition, design, concepts that were involved, overall effectiveness and craftsmanship.” 

The event raised over $500. Forty percent of what was auctioned went back to the artists while the rest of the money that was raised will go to training. 

“We (Beacon for Hope) pride ourselves on the fact that 100% of all donations stay local,” Kurtenbach said. “Our top priority is to provide funding for community members to attend formal mental health or suicide prevention training. Funds raised from the art event as well as the walk will pay for a formal suicide prevention training that is being held on April 27 at Emporia State University at 1 p.m.”

  The training is called ‘Question. Persuade. Refer,’ and is being offered free of charge for up to 25 Emporia State students, faculty and staff.  Due to limited spaces available, those interested should RSVP at

The top three pieces along with a few sketches will be featured at the next First Friday event hosted by Ellen Plumb’s bookstore. 

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