Donated by St. Louis businessman Aaron Williams, this large optical art painting by Polish artist Wojciech Fangor, was originally exhibited in the Guggenheim Museum in New York during the artist's show in 1970. Fangor is the only Polish artist to ever have an individual exhibition at the Guggenheim. Optical art, also known as op art, is an abstract form of painting that uses optical illusions to create undertones of movement, vibrations or swelling when viewed. To see or bid on the painting, visit Sotheby’s online auction catalogue link (http://www.sothebys.com/
In addition to his donation of art and matching funds, Williams also serves as the Founder and Champion of The 7th Grade Poetry Foundation. In 2005, he was the recipient of a Focus St. Louis What's Right With the Region Award for creating and improving educational opportunities in the St. Louis area. He is also President of Aaron Consulting, Inc., a nationwide attorney search firm based in St. Louis for 32 years. Williams hopes that others will be inspired by his personal commitment to the foundation’s cause and choose to make their own charitable donation. “According to the Harvard Business Review blog, two of the top skills that businesses are looking for in employees are creative thinking and succinctly making a point. This is what writing poetry trains you to do,” said Williams. “With statistics showing severely deficient writing and literacy skills in our youth, we are trying to be a helping force in creating a national writing revolution.”
The 7th Grade Poetry Foundation’s mission is to give all students the chance to have their poetic voices celebrated. The foundation collaborates with educators to improve academic outcomes, and unites families and communities through an enhanced appreciation of poetry. To carry out its mission, the charity sponsors school-based poetry writing contests for students in the 7th grade— the year schools are required to teach poetry as part of the Common Core State Standard Initiative. The 2013 program has 92 participating schools in seven states (MO, IL, NM, SD, NY, AR, TX). Winning students have the opportunity to read their poems before a live audience at the April 17th event in St. Louis (to be broadcast online), have their poems published in an anthology donated to schools and public libraries and receive a cash prize. Videos of past winners reading their poems are archived on the foundation’s site (http://7thgradepoetry.org/
To read more about The 7th Grade Poetry Foundation, make a donation, or register your school’s 7th grade for the 2013-2014 contest, visit http://7thgradepoetry.org.