Organizers of the annual Run for Zimbabwe Orphans and Fair are dedicating the event’s Children’s African Art Contest to the memory of the late Los Altos sculptor Hardy Jones. The 19th annual event is scheduled noon to 4 p.m. March 25 at St. Joseph School in Mountain View.
“We miss this man terribly but know his spirit lives on in all the tremendous art he has spread around Los Altos and Mountain View,” said event organizer Ellen Clark.
Jones, a surgeon who died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) last year, used found metal objects to weld works of art. He created sculptures of school mascots at each of the Los Altos public schools. He was a close friend and neighbor of the Clark family, which displays several of his works at their Los Altos home.
“I went out to the front porch and saw that beautiful crocodile (sculpture) that Hardy did for us,” Clark said of her idea for dedicating the art contest. “He’s done so much for our community, donating sculptures to all of the schools. So why not dedicate the children’s art contest to him in perpetuity?”
Participants in the contest, open to local children, can use any medium to create artwork pertaining to Africa. Works will be displayed at the event. A prize – a toy wildebeest – will be awarded to the top artist from each school grade, from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.
“The art contest is a wonderful way for children to participate in philanthropy – especially those who might have physical limitations and cannot run,” Clark said.
Members of the Jones family plan to be on hand at this year’s run and fair. They will be presented with Hardy Jones posters during the event’s open ceremonies. The posters feature Jones’ image and proclaim him a “surgeon, healer, artist.” The poster also includes the words: “We will never forget his indomitable spirit throughout his battle with ALS. For Hardy, it was always a great day!”
The art contest is one of several activities highlighting the Run for Zimbabwe Orphans and Fair, which benefits the Makumbi Children’s Home in Zimbabwe. Races include a preschool 220-yard run, a kindergarten half-mile run and 1-mile races for grades 1-8. The fair will include art, live music, food and games representing the culture of Zimbabwe.
Admission is $5. Proceeds support needs at the orphanage, which serves approximately 100 children up to age 18. This year’s proceeds will fund micro-grants for children aging out of the orphanage that will enable them to start a business or continue with schooling.
St. Joseph School is located at 1120 Miramonte Ave.
For more information on the art contest and the event in general, visit zimbabweparaguay.net.