Art auction donation: "Minors"

Just a few more hours, and then this new artwork will be ready to go to the highest bidder.

You remember I took on the challenge of creating a piece of art to donate to a Seattle Children's Hospital fundraiser. Usually when I think of kids, I think of them playing. But the cigar box's sandy, almost gravelly texture made me think of grubby faces after a long day's work. 

So I turned to this image of young coal mine workers from the Library of Congress. It's part of a photo collection from the early 1900s; the images were used in the fight to pass laws against child labor. 

I incorporated iridescent beads as faux rock inclusions, at first imagining miners digging for these sparkling bits. I've since learned many child mine workers at the time were employed as "breaker boys," sorting out impurities by hand. Remember, these kids were between eight and twelve years old, and the job was hazardous even for adults.

If you'd like to help today's children, please consider bidding on this diorama assemblage and other pieces of art at the "Art ala Carte" auction. Details:

Not surprisingly, the title of this piece came to me right away: "Minors." Yes, it's a play on words, but it seemed important to go with it.  The fact is, there are still children working in mines today, just not in the United States. I'm grateful my own children have never been in this kind of danger, and grateful for medical centers like Seattle Children's Hospital.