An arts-focused school steeped in history...
Buckman Elementary School has been an integral part of the neighborhood for almost 100 years and was established as Portland Public School District’s only arts-focused elementary school in 1989. With a focus on the arts, Buckman staff members work to integrate arts of all kinds into the academic curriculum to inspire deeper, more meaningful learning among students. In addition to this innovative interweaving of the arts into academic lessons, specialized classes in dance, music, and visual arts are offered each week.
Initially funded by a grant, school leadership and parents quickly realized that they would need to create a fundraising plan to maintain Buckman’s integrated arts program. In 1990, Angela Pozzi and Connie Cheifetz, the school's art teacher and a parent volunteer, respectively, began brainstorming ways to raise money for the next year's arts budget. Pozzi and Cheifetz wanted their fundraising endeavors to relate to the arts, but they wanted to avoid asking artists to simply give away their work.
Out of a desire to respect artists' financial needs and provide funding for art at Buckman came the idea of an art sale — one where the proceeds would be shared by the artist and the school alike.
The Buckman Art Show & Sell (a play on the familiar classroom phrase "show-and-tell"), has evolved and grown throughout its 33 years. The show now fills four galleries within the school and recruits over 100 well-established and emerging artists from the community. The show has also featured a silent auction and performances by the Buckman Chorus, Marimba, and Dance groups. In addition to the artwork of professionals, Buckman students and alumni have a gallery to sell their work, there’s a hands-on art area for kids, and food carts out front.
In recent years, the Buckman Art Show and Sell has also invited community art institutions and social justice groups as part of an Arts in Action presentation. We have been honored to host a variety of groups such as Don’t Shoot Portland, Know your City Comics, Never Forget -- a community art project that focused on remembering the victims of the Portland Japanese internment camps, Weaving Together, an art therapy group for Karen refugees, and a collaboration printmaking with our Race forward students with Letra Chueca Press and many more.
As the children of that initial parent group grew up and out of elementary school, new parents continue to volunteer each year and add their ideas, leadership, time, and hard work. Family volunteers handle all aspects of promoting and running the show as a fundraiser for Buckman’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and an impressive showcase for local artists, student artists and performers.
We take great pride in this community event and in the way it supports local Portland artists and Buckman Elementary School. We are grateful for your continuing contributions and hope you will enjoy participating as an artist, shopper, parent, student, community member, or supporter of arts education.