UT art students painting for a cause

6:36 PM, Feb 7, 2012   |    comments
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Students at the University of Tampa are each donating a piece of art to the Florida Holocaust Museum to help raise funds.

TAMPA, Fla. -- Students at the University of Tampa dip and dab and delve into their personal passion.

"It just kind of snatched me back and said, 'This is where you belong,'" says Jeremy Bell of painting.

"It's just one of those things I could spend hours and hours doing," says Sarah Novio. "It doesn't feel like work. It's pure enjoyment."

"It's who I am. It's what I do. I feel like it's my purpose," says Princess Smith.

But these three artists work for more than just individual satisfaction. Each has donated a piece to the Florida Holocaust Museum to help the St. Petersburg facility raise funds.

"The idea of equality and fighting for human rights, a lot of people don't do that type of stuff nowadays," says Smith about the museum.

The theme for the upcoming art auction is "Reflection" and the donations certainly reflect some giving hearts.

"They are giving their time, their materials, their generosity of spirit and what their hands create," says the museum's executive director, Carolyn Bass.

The "To Life" dinner and silent auction on February 23rd is a major fundraiser for the museum. Money raised goes to keep the museum's mission of remembrance and education moving forward.

Each year, the museum hosts about 15,000 children. They not only learn about the horrors of the Holocaust, but they walk away with lessons of tolerance, equality, and hope for humanity.

"Kids are our future," says Novio. "In this country, they should know that all people are equal and we should all be treated as equals."

And the UT students are honored to have their brush strokes help spread that message.

Bell says, "Spending the time to give back to the community and knowing it's being put towards a positive cause, making a difference, especially towards children, it really means a lot and I'm glad I could be a part of it."

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