Gulfport-based artist Jane Bunker paints beautiful flowers. But just as the seeds in the sumptuous lilies she depicts make new blooms, Bunker’s paintings are seeds from which opportunity grows.
Bunker donates the profits from the sale of her paintings — on display at St. Petersburg’s Soft Water Gallery Jan. 14-March 4 — to the Woodson Warriors Scholarship Fund. She established the fund in 2019 while volunteering at The Woodson African American Museum of Florida by approaching executive director Terri Lipsey Scott.
The fund supports select St. Petersburg college students with school expenses. It offers scholarships to 40 scholars and provides support to each student in good standing throughout their four undergraduate years.
“We decided we would really commit to doing what we can to support them through all four years,” Bunker told the Tampa Bay Times in 2021. She cited the importance of “education justice.”
Since the fund’s inception, Bunker has raised close to $100,000 through the sale of her paintings. With additional contributions by local businesses and individuals, the combined total raised has grown to more than $500,000.
The scholarship has a continued positive impact on the students. According to a news release, not a single recipient has dropped out of school and the 2022 group of scholars had an outstanding average high school grade point average of 4.0.
Contributions to the Woodson Warriors Scholars can be made directly to the Woodson Scholarships Fund in care of The Woodson African American Museum of Florida, or by purchasing an original Jane Bunker lily painting on view at Soft Water Gallery (515 22nd St. S). To learn more, visit woodsonscholarships.com.