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Heritage High School receives art collection donation

Part of the collection "Art to the People" is displayed in Riverviews Artspace. WDBJ7 photo.
Part of the collection "Art to the People" is displayed in Riverviews Artspace. WDBJ7 photo.(WDBJ)
Published: Mar. 4, 2020 at 5:38 PM EST
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Big and bold.

Head into the Riverviews Artspace and climb up six floors. You'll find Larry Bassett looking over part of his art collection called "Art to the People."

"It's a lot of art, and like I say, it's from about 100 different local artists right in this area," said Bassett.

With nearly 200 pieces, Bassett has spread his collection across the city.

Tuesday night, he made a generous donation.

Bassett donated the collection to Heritage High School, and pieces will soon be on display.

"The kids won't know all of those stories probably, but I hope we find some ways to communicate that to people and I think that the art speaks for itself," said Bassett.

At Heritage, art teacher Jon Roark has been constantly searching for something like this during his 15 - and now final - year run with the school.

"I'm about to retire and I was thinking it's not going to happen. And one morning I woke up to an email from Larry Bassett asking if we'd like his art collection," said Roark.

The art will bring more than just visuals to the school. It'll teach kids real skills for the world.

"So they're gonna have to think about who might be going to a community health center, and why they might be going and how that art might make their visit a little bit better," said Roark.

And as the pieces soon see management by an organization of faculty, alumni, students and parents, Bassett knows the art is in good hands.

"If you do organizing, you're always looking for somebody who will be as energetic and enthusiastic as you are about what you're trying to do. And Jon was that person," said Bassett.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ7. All rights reserved.

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