Bexley Minority Parent Alliance auction to benefit student scholarships

To raise funds for college scholarships for Bexley High School seniors, the Bexley Minority Parent Alliance will hold an auction of the work of local artists March 19 as a fundraiser.

The event is 3 to 6 p.m. at the Bexley Public Library, 2411 E. Main St.

The art auction is the first for the BMPA, a nonprofit that provides support services to Bexley public school students of color and their families.

Bryan Drewry, a Bexley parent and BMPA officer, said the idea for the auction came while speaking with artists who expressed an interest in helping to raise funds for the BMPA scholarships.

The auction also will serve a way to raise awareness of the work of artists who have had limited opportunities to showcase their work due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Drewry said.

“A lot of the art shows had been kind of closed up, and they said they’d be willing to help out a good cause,” he said.

The event will give potential donors an opportunity to view the art, with the auction continuing online through March 26 at

“Our scholarships are $1,000 (each),” Drewry said. “We’re hoping to give two, maybe even three scholarships, depending on how well the art sells.”

Bexley Minority Parent Alliance auction to benefit student scholarships

One of the participating artists, Derrick Coles, also is a parent who has been involved with the BMPA along with his wife, Natalie. Coles said two of the couple’s four children are current Bexley Public Schools students and their eldest daughter, Angelina, 19, is a Boston College freshman who received a BMPA scholarship.

“I’m hoping that we can raise the amount that we’re hoping for so that students can go on to college,” Coles said of the auction.

A self-portrait that Coles created is featured in the auction. Coles said he designed the piece using a photograph of himself and digital technology, which is a departure from his usual acrylic, latex and oil painting techniques.

“I feel like that’s the inner me,” Coles said of the self-portrait. “I look at it like the artist inside of me. That’s how it would come out of me.”

The BMPA auction offers an opportunity to acquire artwork at an accessible cost, with some of the featured works by artists who are students themselves, Drewry said.

“Some people think, ‘Art is so expensive, but maybe I can get a piece that’s very reasonable and can go on the wall of my apartment,’” he said.

A BMPA committee will select students who received scholarships funded by the auction based on criteria that include grade-point average and community involvement, Drewry said.

“We’re thinking potentially we’ll expand and do a bigger event next year,” he said. “Between high school and professional artists, there’s a lot to choose from.”

Other artists featured in the auction include Dalia Knopes, Renee Keels, Akisa Fukuzawa, Abby Feinknopf, Greg Pitts, Elaine Freeman, Ellen Knolls, Luna Zamora, Ann Silverman, Rachel David, Daidria Renkel and Kiki Mooney.