'Her Life Was Short, But It Was Wide'
The Michener Museum is starting a scholarship endowment in honor of 9-year-old budding artist Holly Berry Huyhn, who was killed in a high-speed car crash on Rt. 611 on Nov. 21.
When art teachers at the James A. Michener Art Museum talk about Holly Berry Huynh, their faces light with joy.
"She had amazing energy and compassion for her fellow students," her painting teacher, Megan Moyer, said in a statement Monday.
"She was a delight – always smiling, always attentive, always collaborating, always inspired," said sculpture teacher Robin Lane.
"She was a gifted artist who could master any technique, was open to exploring any process, and always made class fun," said drawing teacher Cara Alderfer.
A budding artist, Holly called the museum her second home. And now, the museum is ensuring her memory never is forgotten.
The Michener Museum will present a memorial exhibition of the late 9-year-old's artwork. The show will run from April 7 through 22 in the museum's Education Gallery and will kick off the Holly Berry Huynh Scholarship Endowment.
A student at Groveland Elementary, Holly was killed Nov. 21, 2012, on the Rt. 611 Bypass, in a high-speed crash that also gravely injured her grandmother, Suzanne Berry.
Drew Bodden, of Plumstead, now faces third degree murder and other charges related to the crash. Bucks County prosecutors say he was driving more than 140 miles per hour when he hit Berry's car, forcing it to flip off the road.
Despite the efforts of rescuers, Holly was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, a scene that many Doylestown-area residents drive by, and reflect upon, daily.
Holly spent a lot of time at the Michener.
She took pride in knowing about the collections and was happy to share her excitement about the galleries with her parents, relatives, neighbors, and friends who joined her Fridays for children’s art exhibitions.
She had been looking forward to enrolling in the museum’s fashion design classes. She also was looking forward to giving her own tour to her Groveland classmates on their annual field trip in December 2012.
"Every day that we see a beautiful sunset or a rainbow in the sky, every moment we stop to reflect on the peace and beauty in our surroundings, and every time we imagine a magical transformation, may we also remember Holly, now painting on an entirely new canvas," Holly’s mother Colleen said in a statement Monday about the new endowment.
The Holly Berry Huynh Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund at the Michener Art Museum has been established by Holly’s family, friends, and hundreds of community members.
Through their efforts, the fund reached its $25,000 goal and will continue to seek donations to build the endowment for years to come.
The fund will generate revenue in perpetuity, museum officials said Monday.
Ongoing individual donations will keep Holly’s inspiration and spirit alive in the Education Center at the James A. Michener Art Museum. Fourth-grade teachers from Groveland Elementary School also contributed to help a deserving student attend a summer camp program free of charge this year.
The primary purpose of the endowment is to provide tuition assistance for students in preschool through grade 12 who demonstrate artistic ability and financial need and wish to enroll in the museum’s art classes, officials said.
All scholarship awardees also will be granted a one-year family membership to the museum so their families may enjoy the museum experience along with their child. The money also will be used to help organizations working with underserved populations bring their student groups to the museum.
The memorial exhibition is being curated by Ruth Anderson, Director of Youth and Family Programs at the Michener.
The exhibition will feature the unveiling of a permanent installation of Holly’s artwork in the museum’s Education Center, an acrylic titled "Circle of Life." It also will include several works created by Holly in the 11 classes she took at the Michener.
Her interests ranged from painting to sculpture, from drawing to mural making, and from Asian arts to comic books.
Anderson said she was grateful to be part of this family’s journey.
"It is amazing that they have helped us all find a way to move through this tragedy in a positive way. Because of this endowment, Holly’s creative spark and kind spirit will be with us forever," Anderson said.
Family friend Sue Ketcham matted all the work for the show.
"Holly had the soul of an artist. She made some form of art everyday. She had a richness of spirit that was absolutely engaging. Her life was short, but it was wide; very wide. She will truly be missed."
The memorial exhibition runs April 7 through April 22, with an opening reception April 7 from 1 to 3 pm. This event is free and open to the public.
Anyone interested in applying for a scholarship is asked to contact Ruth Anderson at 215-340-9800 ext. 126 or email@example.com.
To contribute to the fund, contact Laurie McGahey, Senior Director of Advancement, at 215-340-9800 ext. 161 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ilene Dube, of the Michener Museum, contributed to this report.