SMC Students Show at Annial Global Art Exhibit

If you're interested in a party with a purpose, an event is coming on June 23 that you won't want to miss.

You can watch exotic Indian dancers, have a tasty meal, listen to both a string-quartet and salsa music live, frolic, and bid in a silent auction for goodies to go on your wall. And you can do it all, in the name of third world education.

Welcome to the Global Art Exhibit, an annual event that raises money for the Sanghamitra schoolhouse in Andhra Pradesh, India. The event links the know-how of Santa Monica College student and exhibit creator Andres Espana, in conjunction with the nonprofit organization Net Aid, to encourage anyone who would like to participate in making a difference world-wide by fighting poverty - the kind that effects both the stomach and the mind.

This year the extravaganza will be held at The Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica, where an elaborate collection of local art work, donated for this occasion, awaits the generosity and kindness of strangers to bid for educational relief.

Espana conceived, organized, and planned the exhibit in response to his personal experiences in New Deli, India where he witnessed children unable to attend school because of their impoverished conditions.

"I saw a mud hut with a television in it, and children working when they should have been in school," said Espana. This compelled him to join the United Nations Foundation, where he was introduced to Net Aid; which is where he found his inspiration to create a way to make a difference globally.

"I consider putting this event on as my art," said Espana.

Which in turn encouraged SMC student, Jessica Tatara to donate three photography pieces to the event after Espana mentioned the Net Aid program to her in an SMC Cultural anthropology class.

"I love to help any way I can, and no one had ever asked me to help with my art before," said Tatara. "I thought it was an amazing opportunity." Tatara is a multi-medium artist who "lives and breathes" art. She had her first gallery opening in Long Beach in March. Besides photography, she is also a glass sculptress, painter, poet, and sketch artist.

There will be other auction items besides art at the event, which starts at 7 p.m. and costs $30 per person, and includes Indian food and entertainment. Most items however are art pieces in one form or another, including furniture, and clothing. And all profits will go directly to the schoolhouse. The entrance price to the exhibit equals a full scholarship for one student at Sanghamitra for one year.

"I think Andres has a fantastic eye for bringing all these individual spirits of art together as a whole," said Tatara, regarding the entire art collection at the exhibit. "The whole collection is refreshing and pure."