By Rebecca Gaunt
Saturday’s Art With Heart memorial art show to honor the legacy of Patrick Key, a Cobb County School District art teacher, drew a crowd that packed the restaurant and live music venue The Green Room of Mableton.
Key died in December 2020 after a six-week battle with COVID-19.
Patrons had the opportunity to purchase original art created by Cobb students, from elementary school through high school. Proceeds benefit the Patrick Key Memorial Art Scholarship through the Cobb Schools Foundation. The fund provides grants to Cobb art teachers for creative projects.
Key taught elementary school art for more than 20 years at Clarkdale Elementary School in Austell and Hendricks Elementary School in Powder Springs. The word that came up over and over Saturday to describe him was kind.
Several Cobb students were recognized by their art teachers on stage for demonstrating kindness in school. They were awarded the Patrick K.E.Y. Kindness Award (Kindness Exemplified Yearlong) as Key’s wife Priscella watched from the audience, surrounded by friends and family.
Originals and replicas of the displayed pieces are still available for purchase through the virtual art show hosted by Artomé. The Alpharetta-based business partners with schools to provide an art show experience for students.
Parent Laura Zhiss helped organize the event. She said that for many students this was their first chance to be part of an art show.
In addition to the art pieces, attendees were able to order food, proceeds of which also benefited the memorial, while students played live music on stage. Pizza was a popular choice, cooked on the 4,000-pound, wood-burning stove from Italy.
Tre’ Hutchins, school board member for post 3, attended the show.
“I am overwhelmed by the support of the Inaugural Art Show honoring the life and legacy of our own Mr. Patrick Key. As we grow the sustainability of our art initiatives countywide, it’s efforts like this that will ensure support for teacher supplies and programming,” he said.
Rebecca Gaunt earned a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in education from Oglethorpe University. After teaching elementary school for several years, she returned to writing. She lives in Marietta with her husband, son, two cats, and a dog. In her spare time, she loves to read, binge Netflix and travel.