N.C.B.F.S.T. supports art programs at schools

Twenty-six years ago, Kraig Foote had a vision to start an art gallery specifically for students and local artists. Coming from the design discipline, he had connections and clientele before even opening the gallery, which helped him start Art One. 

Art One gets plenty of foot traffic being in downtown Scottsdale, but over the years it’s also grown because of the original artists who began with the gallery. They, along with the artists after them, have spread the news about Art One through word of mouth.

Foote also started a nonprofit organization in 2005 to better aid these artists and schools, initially called The Newlon-Foote Foundation.

The organization is getting a new name this year – N.C.B.F.S.T. Foundation for Student Artists – but the mission is still the same: provide funds and supplies to schools that don’t have the level of resources they should for their art programs. N.C.B.F.S.T. stands for nurture, create, believe, flourish, succeed, transform – and that is the mission for the entire gallery. 

One school that has been supported by this mission is the Autism Academy. Roughly five years ago, Foote was approached by someone from the Autism Academy, asking if he would display some of the students’ artwork in his gallery. He agreed and the relationship has blossomed, especially with the help of art teacher Amy Floyd.

“The gallery has been here for 26 years,” said manager Max Smith. “It’s always specialized in students and local artists. All the money from the Autism Academy students’ works goes back to them.” 

Some of that money has gone into getting a larger art room at the Academy as well as getting more supplies and mediums for the students to use. 

“Whenever we receive any sort of supply donations,” Max said, “like matte boards or canvas, the Autism Academy gets first pick. It really helps when we have that community outreach to help us further our goal in helping them out.” 

Foote and Smith keep artwork from the Academy in the gallery throughout the year. And sometimes, they receive support and donations far beyond their expectations. 

Foote related a story how they once received a generous donation from a commission. The donor gave $5,000 to the N.C.B.F.S.T. Foundation and $5,000 to the gallery itself. Not only do the students benefit from the donations, but showing their art in the gallery helps them build confidence. 

“Other people [at the gallery] can see your feelings and how you’re expressing them,” student Logan Powell said. 

And with more supplies, students are able to branch into other mediums. 3D printers allow more tech-savvy students like Raymond Rehal to create art without having to rely on just pencils or paints. Student Wes Hernandez is thinking about getting into street art.

“We’re going to do ceramics this year,” said Floyd, “which I’ve never been able to incorporate. And I kind of sway [our art projects] to what they’ve been telling me they want. A lot of them have asked me, ‘Are we ever going to do clay?’ And I told them, ‘If we ever get a bigger room.’ And because of Art One, here it is.”  

For more: artonegallery.com.