Potdar’s passion to help visible through Coppell home tour fundraiser


courtesy Yvette Hightower

Coppell High School sophomores Catherine Fuselier and Swarangi Potdar display their art pieces for the Coppell home tour fundraiser. More than $24,000 was raised to help clothe 81 children in the area.

Laasya Achanta, Staff Writer

The Coppell Assistance League is an organization dedicated to helping the Coppell community through volunteers. Fittingly, National Honors Society (NAHS) sophomore art students Swarangi Potdar and Catherine Fuseiler volunteered to provide their sketches to help with the Coppell Assistance League’s annual Christmas in Coppell Home Tour fundraiser.

Although the program devotes its funds to an array of programs all focused on helping out the community, a majority of the funds go to one program in particular: Operation School Bell.

Operation School Bell provides a backpack full of clothing and a giftcard to Payless Shoes to help students in need who are recommended to Coppell Assistance League by their teachers.

So far, the project has led to the providing of clothing for 81 children in the area.

With the help of the homeowners who displayed their homes for more than 500 people for free, Coppell Assistance League raised more than $24,000.

For volunteering to showcase their homes, the homeowners were provided sketches of their homes drawn by NAHS students as a token of appreciation. This is the first year student art pieces were exhibited inside of the decorated houses.

Both artists employed different techniques to draw their sketches. Fuselier’s sketches utilize fewer lines to reduce the value gradient of the houses while Potdar’s has more cross hatching, therefore giving the house more depth.

“Everyone stopped and admired it,”Coppell Assistance League Resource Development Chairman Yvette Hightower said. “They were so impressed that it was Coppell High School kids that drew these beautiful drawings. Not only were the visitors impressed, the homeowners considered the artwork a gift. They all hung it up in prominent locations of their homes. It is a way that truly the art society has given back to our community.”

CHS sophomore Swarangi Potdar jumped at the chance to volunteer her time and skill to help support the local organization.

“Because there are not a lot of opportunities in regards to volunteering with art, I really like to take every chance I get and do whatever I can to help,” Potdar said.

Potdar received the picture of the house and began working right away, spending more than five hours from inception to the final product. She used an assortment of pens to accurately portray the house. By utilizing techniques she acquired from her previous experience in art such as contouring, etching, cross hatching and other skills, Potdar brought the house to life.

Potdar’s love for art came from watching her mom, Pallavi Potdar, who spends her free time painting.

“I always liked using colors and painting as a kid but as I grew older, it turned into a passion,” Mrs. Potdar said.

Potdar started taking art classes and is currently enrolled in Drawing II at CHS.

“Swarangi is very dedicated and passionate in what she does,” CHS Drawing II teacher Michele Hauske said. “She really puts in a lot of research and thought into her drawings, and I know she spent a lot of time on the house drawing.”

Potdar’s work ethic and sympathetic personality allow her to seek out projects where she can use her skills to help those in need, making her choice to volunteer for the Coppell Assistance League anything but a surprise.

Previously, she drew a portrait of a young Filipino boy for the Memory Project – a non-profit organization that pairs an impoverished child with an artist who helps brighten the child’s day by drawing a portrait of the child.

“It is important for young artists to use their art to help out the community because it’s important to gain various experiences and observe the world for what it is in order to be a good artist,” Potdar said. “Their acts of helping will cause more interaction and participation in a public space which is not what is found very often nowadays.”

The Coppell Assistance League is working towards incorporating art into its upcoming fundraisers including Legacy of Literacy.