Posted on Oct 14, 2014 by admin

The Port Townsend Education Foundation’s sixth annual Art 4 Education auction this Saturday, Feb. 22, honors the work and career of Kathleen Burgett, a beloved former art teacher at Port Townsend High School.

Burgett, 64, died on July 11, 2013 after a battle with cancer.

“Our volunteer board is dedicated to supporting the students and teachers of Port Townsend, and we are inspired by the legacy and work of Mrs. Burgett,” said Caitlin Harrison, foundation board president.

Burgett’s work is featured at the Feb. 22 event with her piece “Untitled,” an Impressionist-style oil painting giclée, being the first item up for auction.

Burgett was raised in Bothell, Wash., studied at the University of Washington (UW), and did her first solo art show in 1972 at Penryn Gallery in Seattle.

After many years of substitute teaching, Burgett returned to the UW in 1995 to get her full teaching credentials, and then began an art education career at Port Townsend High School that would last more than a decade.

In her obituary, her family wrote, “As an instructor, she put forward extraordinary effort in organizing student art shows, fundraising auctions and field trips. She had an earnest desire to help her individual students kindle their budding artistic creativity and had a keen eye for the great potential in what her kids produced.”

New venue

It's the first time that the annual auction will take place at the Fort Worden State Park Commons, which has seating for 240 people. New this year, the auction includes more than art; there are also “experiences,” such as wine tasting, sailing aboard the schooner Adventuress during the 2014 Wooden Boat Festival, and other services and activities. More than 80 pieces of art and engaging local experiences are being auctioned at this lively event.

Event proceeds are used by the foundation to support innovative education programs within Port Townsend public schools. Specifically, funds are distributed to selected teachers in a competitive granting process.

“The Art 4 Education Auction gives our community an engaging opportunity to invest in Port Townsend’s schools and students,” said Miranda Berger, the Port Townsend Education Foundation development chair.

An impact on curriculum

The mission of the Port Townsend Education Foundation is to engage the community in raising funds for public education that support and enhance academic achievement in the Port Townsend School District. Since its inception in 2007, the foundation has invested $227,000 into 90 innovative, teacher-driven, curriculum-based projects that have had an impact on more than 13,000 Port Townsend public school students.

A volunteer-run organization, the foundation is composed of dedicated parents, business owners and community members who are concerned about diminishing capital for public education. Its purpose is to raise funds that can be put directly into the classrooms to enhance opportunities for all public school students. The foundation uses a formal grant review process to allocate money to schools for classroom enrichment and curriculum-based projects.

The auction is 6:30-10 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person, which includes hors d’oeuvres, beverages and Discover Pass parking at Fort Worden. Purchase tickets through the foundation’s website,

Tickets are also available at the door on Saturday, should seating remain.

View the foundation’s website for a peek at silent auction and live auction items, and artist information.