National Art Honor Society members to fundraise for SPCA


Photo Courtesy: Gina Mock

A pet portrait of a cat painted by former PHS students and National Art Honor Society member Kelsi Ferguson sits on display. Students and staff can submit photos of their pets to the NAHA sponsor Gina Mock to get a portrait of their pet for $25. "My favorite part of creating them, is using a picture they submit, and turning it into my own style," senior and NAHS Vice President Kyri Morris-Jackson. "The person who orders it can specifically request how they would specifically want their portraits to look like, but normally they let us do what we want."

Haley Medeiros, Social Media Director

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Students in the National Art Honor Society will paint portraits of PHS faculty’s pets to raise money for the Society of Prevention to Cruelty of Animals throughout the school year.

NAHS has offered the fundraiser since the honor society was started five years ago. Each painting costs $25.

“The portraits are painted based on submitted photos from staff members or other interested parties,” art teacher Gina Mock said. “A small portion goes to replace paints, $5, and the remainder is accumulated until we can give the SPCA a nice size check.”

NAHS students offered the portraits for staff mainly because the portraits can take up to six months.

“Students who wish to get their pet portrait painted can submit an image for painting,” Mock said.  “They can email me directly with the image, and then it gets placed in the pet photo binder for NAHS students to pick up as they have free time.”

Staff who would like to request a portrait can email Mock or add a photo into the Google folder link that was sent in an email. Students who would like to request a portrait can email Mock for information.

“We have amazing students in NAHS that can finish an entire portrait in less than a few hours,” senior and NAHS member Pia Trautwein said. “I admit to being a perfectionist and therefore like to spend a few days and, if very detailed, even a few weeks on the painting until I’m happy with the way it looks.”

Some paintings are available for “adoption,” according to Mock. Students can stop by Room 1037 to take a look at the portraits.

“We have portraits that were painted, and then the teacher moved to a different school district or a duplicate painting was made and only one was adopted,” Mock said. “If students would like to adopt a painting of a pet that is not their own, those unadopted paintings are available for the $25 adoption fee.”

Last year, the organization raised $460 for the SPCA.

“We always have dozens of pet portrait requests from PHS staff members and are always happy to receive more,” Trautwein said. “Personally delivering the pet portraits to the owners is so meaningful and worthwhile when I see the smiles on their faces.”

Each student artist has their own style and uses that creativity in their paintings.

“Some people paint in a more cartoonish style, where others are more realistic and detailed,” senior and NAHS Vice President Kyri Morris-Jackson said. “I get satisfaction out of having a blank canvas and transforming it into a fun, animated portrait of an animal, and doing it for a great cause. I help animals in the shelter get the proper care, treatment, food [and] healthy necessities they need to find a loving home eventually.”

NAHS members can earn five volunteer hours for painting the portraits.

“National Art Honor Society students gain painting experience that will help them increase their level of talent,” Mock said. “The students also have a requirement to complete 40 volunteer service hours per year. Often, the paintings take much longer than five hours, but the benefit to the community and their personal growth makes it a worthwhile endeavor.”

NAHS students personally deliver the check to the SPCA.

“While painting the animals is a lot of fun, the most rewarding and exciting aspect of the fundraiser is seeing the impact it makes,” Trautwein said. “Actually seeing all the shelter animals in person gave me a huge feeling of accomplishment knowing exactly to whom those donations went to and that NAHS had made a difference in their lives.”