The Million Dollar Artists


“It’s just a way for our faculty to bridge the financial gap that exists with a lot of our students,” said De Ochoa.  “A lot of students are getting to top-tier colleges with great financial aid packages, but sometimes there is a little financial gap where they can’t afford the cost of books or transportation.”  Help is available in the form of scholarship, loans, and grants.

“The idea behind the student art work at the event started with the real power behind Cristina Correa’s art program at IDEA San Juan Prep,” said Goessling. “We’ve known that she brings a high level of rigor to the program and a really high level of expectation for the students.

“One of the visions of the student art work is that students are able to see the demand and belief that the public has for their work, and they have the opportunity of seeing a measured result.”

There are an abundance of academic measures used during the span of a students’ career.    Whether they are required tests in different disciplines, or Advanced Placement exams used to award college credit, but results for the arts are not traditionally quantified beyond the grades in the classroom.

“Students often have the opportunity to get a measured result in terms of their work on a math test…[and] for the AP English Language test they take as juniors or seniors,” said Goessling.  “Outside of a teachers’ grading, it’s often more challenging to get feedback on their painting and drawing.  We have students that take the AP Studio Art exam and students that submit their work for their IB portfolio, but the auction would just give them an additional forum to get external feedback and validation for their outstanding efforts in the arts.”

Select IDEA juniors and seniors were planted next to their canvases, discussing a range of topics with potential buyers.

“I absolutely believe it parallels IDEA’s consistent innovation and is a very visual reminder that our students are the very core of our organization,” said Correa. “Donating their artworks to the auction is symbolic of the recognition that we are all working together towards the same goal, which is for every single student to get to and through college. Knowing that perhaps their painting provided an emergency loan for an alum, uniforms for a family in need, or even something as simple as a pencil and paper in class gives them an immense sense of pride and satisfaction.”