Lee Baughman

“As an art teacher I am always on the hunt for projects that the participants in my classes will get excited about. When Katie Bradley first approached me about the Ready Set Go books I thought ‘well this might be something a few of my students would be interested in…’. While I was intrigued and excited about it, I wasn’t sure how much interest there would be. The idea of the project is for the finished art piece to be donated to raise funds for the production of the books. So it would be a generous gift of time, effort and the painting itself. And I knew better than most how much goes into creating a piece you are proud of. In my wildest dreams I never anticipated the level of their enthusiasm. What a response! The artists who paint with me, many of whom are avid readers themselves, were so touched that children in Ethiopia had limited or no basic readers to introduce them to the world of books. Many were excited that they could contribute something that could touch a child on the other side of the planet. And quite a number have contributed more than one painting.  To date the men and woman of Clark Colleges Economic and Community development have contributed the art for 14 books and a collection of images for the authors of these wonderful books to draw from. Open Hearts Big Dreams is honestly one of the most meaningful things in which I have participated within my art career, and I love the fact that I get to share that with so many great artists who also happen to be awesome people.”