March 20, 2012
UVU alum uses unusual technique to raise money for scholarships
(Paige Fieldsted, Daily Herald) — What started with a pen used by Utah artist James Christensen has turned into $3,000 of scholarship money for future Utah Valley University art students. UVU alumna Julie Pierce started the project Smart Trades For ART Scholarships when she was a student at UVU.
The mother of six graduated in April with a degree in graphic design. While working on her senior capstone project Pierce decided it was important for her to give back, especially after all the help she had received as a student.
“I had received a lot of scholarship help myself, and I wanted a way to give back,” Pierce said. “I wouldn’t have been able to go back to school if I hadn’t gotten scholarships.”
Pierce decided to raise money for scholarships and chose a unique way to raise money. She “traded-up,” starting with a pen used by Christensen and trading that for a bar of silver worth $200. She then traded the silver for $500 worth of beef, which she then traded for six months of private pottery lessons worth $750. Her final trade was to Sweet Little Rebel Cake and More for $1,500 worth of custom-made cookies and cakes.
“I wanted to start with something meaningful but art-related and thought it would be great to get a pencil or something from a Utah artist,” Pierce said. “Lots of people love James Christensen and he was generous enough to donate a pen he has used on sketches.”
She said most of the trades were made because people were interested in helping her give back. Pierce also took donated items and sold them using classified ads and Facebook and held an auction to raise money.