Fresh Impressions: Select Donors to Receive a One-Time 40th Day Incentive


For the 40th anniversary of A Day to Give West, the University of Western Georgia’s annual fundraiser, steering committee members hope to commemorate the occasion by honoring both the donors and the students who benefit from their generosity.

This year, anyone who contributes $100 or more will receive a watercolor created by painting student Rachel Christiansen depicting UWG entrance signage.

“In preparing for the 40th annual A Day to Give West, we wanted to have a unique incentive that would commemorate this anniversary while highlighting the group that A Day helps the most: our students,” said Jess Lassetter. , director of annual giving at the UWG. . “What better way to illustrate the impact of a day than to have an incentive that showcases the talent that students have here at UWG.”

Enter Clint Samples ’96, this year’s A Day faculty chair. As professor of art and associate dean of UWG’s College of Arts, Culture, and Scientific Research, he has his finger on the creative pulse of the university.

“I had several ideas to revise the incentive options, but when Jess suggested the art print, it was such a great idea and it made so much sense to do,” Samples said. “I myself taught watercolor for years and my classes painted landscapes around UWG. We used images from some of these paintings and other student works to create maps correspondence years ago, so once Jess gave us the idea, I immediately could imagine how the process should work, and I knew who to ask first.

The samples turned to Christiansen, a junior from Moreland, Georgia, who was in his class the previous spring.

“Rachel immediately impressed me with her positive spirit, work ethic and tremendous technical watercolor skills,” he shared. “She also takes feedback well and intuitively ‘gets it’. I knew I could share the idea with Rachel and she would deliver a solid piece of art – and she did.

Christiansen said she was grateful to be given the A Day commission.

“Clint is an encouraging teacher who gives us opportunities that challenge us, and the play A Day is an example of that,” Christiansen said. “I was able to work with everyone involved and create something they could use. as an artist.

In addition to participating in student exhibitions and juried exhibitions, Christiansen also sees this opportunity as another example of how UWG is preparing her for a successful career as a children’s book illustrator.

“UWG gave me different experiences with various mediums, allowing me to become more comfortable with them while learning how to use them well technically,” she explained. “I didn’t really like watercolor until I took Clint’s watercolor course and discovered that I liked it for illustration purposes. It introduced me to a medium in a way that I had never thought of before.

A day will end with a celebration on Thursday, October 20. To donate, please visit the Give West webpage. Anyone who donates $100 or more will receive the watercolor print.

“When you give back through A Day, you directly support current students like Rachel, while at the same time securing students far into the future,” Lassetter concluded.

Continuing the spirit of philanthropy, Christiansen’s original 16″x20″ watercolor will be auctioned at the 2023 Presidential Gala next March.

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