Art for Hope: How one local teen is turning passion into purpose

Published: May. 16, 2023 at 11:05 AM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Canterbury sophomore Sophia Zhang is taking her love of art, animals and medicine and putting it on paper... drawing paper that is.

She started looking for inspiration for her AP Art and Design project back in the fall. After talks with her art teacher, Trevor Campbell, he said he noticed one thing. He said Sophia undoubtedly had a passion for the natural world and animals. That became her muse for this year’s project, which features endangered species.

“What you see here are still images, but what you don’t see are the 50 pictures that she’s picked from and selected and collaged together, the different articles that she’s read about,” Campbell said. “She knows so much about these species and what struggles they’re going through right now.”

After a long journey of working, perfecting her project and winning a few awards, Sophia’s teacher coordinated for her work to go on display for sale at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.

She plans to donate any money raised to Hope’s Harbor, a local non-profit providing help to families with children in the hospital, but she’s not doing it alone. Last year, Amri Gussenhoven, a fellow Canterbury student, organized Art for Hope, an online art auction to donate for Hope’s Harbor. You can find some of Sophia’s other work and her classmates’ work for sale here.

BACKGROUND: Student launching art auction to raise money for Mad Anthonys Children’s Hope House

You can visit the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo gift shop, where you’ll find all of Sophia’s endangered species pieces on display and on sale through May 21st.

“I have a purpose behind my artwork. Because in the past, I’ve just been doing it as a hobby. But now I can actually use my artwork as a way to help others and I really like that,” Sophia said.