Downtown Gallery holds silent auction for Planned Parenthood

The Downtown Gallery hosted the silent auction “You, Me, Us, We” benefiting Planned Parenthood on Thurs., June 29, 2017.

Cody Patton

The Kent State School of Art’s Downtown Gallery held a silent auction benefiting Planned Parenthood Thursday evening.

The “You, Me, Us, We” event was a one-time, volunteer-ran event.

Art professor Janice Lessman-Moss helped plan the auction, and said the current political climate was a motivating factor for the event.

“We felt like we needed to do something to make our situation better,” Lessman-Moss said. “One hundred percent of tonight’s proceeds will go to Planned Parenthood, and it’s nice to see that people care.” 

The works varied from jewelry to colored pencil pieces.

“We have pieces here from faculty, staff, alumni, local and Cleveland artists too,” said crafts graduate student Allison Smith. “Really, any artist that wanted to help.”

The School of Art collaborated with the Planned Parenthood Advocates of Kent State to make the “You, Me, Us, We” event possible.

Madison Newingham, the president of Planned Parenthood Advocates major, said she was excited to partner with the school of art.

“We work with a lot of progressive groups on campus,” Newingham said. “But this is the first thing we’ve (worked) with the School of Art, and I absolutely love it.”

Attendees shared Newingham’s appreciation for the event. Shane Beneke, a recent Kent State graduate, and Megan Hermensky, a senior public relations major, said they were pleased with the message and goal of the event.

“It’s really a beautiful marriage of two things I love,” Beneke said. “Art and reproductive justice.”

Even with events like this, more students need to be educated, Hermansky said.

“There are a lot of students at Kent that are educated on these issues and really are active,” she said. “But there are always freshman on campus, and people who still need to hear.”

Erica Wilson-Domer, another attendee, agreed.

“Now, more than ever, we need to get out there and support events like these,” she said.

Crowds of people made their way into the small but open gallery to show their support, make bids and appreciate the art.

Breanne Trammell, an art assistant professor, said she hoped the event inspired those in attendance to either start advocating or find ways to do more.

“The response has been very supportive, but there is more,” Trammell said. “We want to expand the focus of these events beyond just women because these issues are facing everyone.”

Cody Patton is the diversity reporter. Contact him at [email protected]