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by Jennifer Kreuger, Estey Art

If you’ve visited the office of the Fredericton Chamber recently you would have noticed some very special art work up on the wall.

This art belongs to a proud young student of The Estey Art Initiative Inc., a New Brunswick based charity that has been engaging children and their families through art since 2006.

Estey Art, a longstanding chamber member, has created an exciting project that’s bringing local children and businesses together. This new initiative is called “one4one”, a student art loan program.

Ultimately, what Estey Art is doing, is making an art gallery out of New Brunswick and elementary students are the featured artists!

For 14 years, The Estey Art Initiative has been operating an inclusive after school fine art program. It has grown to over 70 elementary schools across the province, with almost 1500 students each year from grades 3, 4, & 5. Their program is available in French and English. They employ local professional artists to not only teach the after school program but to do in school presentations where they’re encouraging art awareness and appreciation with thousands of youngsters each year.

The children who take The Estey Art program are now deciding to pay it forward and help more children take the program that they love so much. They are choosing to lend out their artwork that they’ve made in art class. The Estey Art team frames that artwork and local businesses rent the pieces at the cost of funding another child to take the program, hence the name “one4one”. For just $325, businesses can have a beautiful piece of art on their wall for a full year and enjoy knowing that they are boosting a budding artists’ self confidence while also funding a future student.

A buzz is starting to build because of Estey Art’s one4one program. Not only are businesses and their employees and customers enjoying the almost 100 pieces of art that have been hung around the province so far, but the students who have their art hung are beyond proud to have their work celebrated. It’s a real win-win initiative.

The Fredericton Chamber jumped on board quickly to rent a piece of art and The Estey Art team is so grateful of that level of support. They’re hoping that more community members will get involved so that we can keep the creative momentum going. Estey Art even does the actual hanging for you, and can hang as many works as you’d like. Art from the big box stores can be beautiful but this art is one of a kind and makes the day of everyone involved.

There are hundreds of pieces of artwork available at any given time and even more students that need to be supported with the funds raised through the rental program. You can check out their website at www.esteyart.com for more information or connect with them through facebook. There are a lot of ways to give and get involved.

Supporters of The Estey Art Initiative are improving lives through art. The organization’s ultimate mission is “to initiate the act of art making instilling lifelong benefits through the creative process.” And their motto? “To be the best part of a child’s day!” What could be better than that?

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