Paint brushes stick up at every angle from dripping buckets of paint, wet and dry canvasses line wooden tables and artists stand over them, mixing paint and finalizing details.
The room is milling with artists preparing for the Pathways gala.
These painters, many of whom have completed and hung their canvasses to be auctioned, are different from the usual gala contributors in one significant way. If they did attend the gala, they’d be heading to the celebration after a long day at elementary and middle school.
The Nov. 9 gala, called “A Place at the Table,” is a fund-raising event for the nonprofit Pathways for Children, hosted by Cruiseport Gloucester and slated to run from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets go for $150 per person, and guests are treated to cocktails, hors d’oeuvers and a silent auction.
Local artists usually donate art for the auction, but this year will be the first time the Pathways Art Club kids, ages 6 to 12, will contribute their own art.
“This time, I guess somebody just said let’s do paintings by the kids too,” said Laurie Buller, the artist volunteer who taught the kids to paint on canvas and brought them to visit two local artists’ studios as a field trip.
Buller said the kids’ paintings could pull in some serious funds for the nonprofit. Plus, she said, the paintings hung on Pathways walls have already garnered some recognition for the young artists among their fellow students.
“When I go into another classroom now, the kids ask me about hanging their own artwork,” Buller said. “There’s obviously some kind of status and prestige about having your painting hung.”
The kids had used hand-mixed paint colors and sketched outlines to create paintings of everything from abstract snakes and aliens to self portraits and shipwrecks on their 16-by-20-inch canvasses.