A Benefit in More Ways Than One

Autumn Creek, acrylic, 24" x 18"

Autumn Creek, acrylic, 24″ x 18″

I have been lamenting that although I still show paintings at the Topeka Art Guild Gallery and the Eagle Car Wash in Topeka, many of the Lawrence places where I used to show are no longer available to me.  Some have gone out of business.  Some have changed the style of art that they show.  The Lawrence Art Guild Gallery is no longer and the organizer of the Lawrence Art Walk, an annual event when artists opened their homes to the public, has moved back to England.  Although I have this blog, I’d like more places where people could see my actual art and maybe even occasionally buy something.

The one venue for showing art that seems to be going strong these days is the benefit.  These events often include a meal and an auction, either only a silent auction or both a silent auction and one with an auctioneer and bids from the audience.  These tend to be invitational and somehow, even though I haven’t shown much in Lawrence this year, my name has appeared on their list of potential donors.  I’ve agreed to participate in four this fall.  One in Topeka has already occurred and I was glad that when I called to find out who bought my painting and for how much I was actually given that information.  That doesn’t always happen with benefits.  The second, the benefit for the Joshua Center, which serves children with neurological disorders, in Kansas City took place recently and I was glad to also be invited to attend the benefit, which was held at a lovely country club and featured a delicious barbecue dinner.  The painting did not sell for as much as I had hoped but every little bit helps and I was glad to do it since it is a relative’s favorite charity.

I will have paintings in two Lawrence benefits this fall.  The painting above will be in the Just Food Founders’ dinner and silent auction Oct. 2 from 6-10 p.m. at Abe and Jake’s.  Food is such a basic necessity and it can be hard for some to realize just how many people run short of it every month.  Just food not only distributes food to individuals but also coordinates with other local food pantries in Lawrence.  I help out with one of these, which has been aided by Just Food.  I have seen how many people line up outside the door before the food pantry is scheduled to open.  I will also be contributing a painting to another food related Lawrence charity, LINK (Lawrence Interdenominational Nutrition Kitchen).  Housed in the First Christian Church in Lawrence, it provides substantial meals to anyone who shows up, no questions asked, several days a week.  Local churches and some other groups provide food and service but there are costs involved.  Some years ago I was involved with LINK as a coordinator for the food service the church I was a member of at that time provided.  The LINK Harvest Dinner and fundraiser will be Nov. 13 at Liberty Hall.

So while I hope my paintings do well in these auctions because these organizations need all the help they can get, there are benefits to me as well.  For one thing, people can see that I am still an active artist.  Also, I enjoy going to these auctions if tickets are provided to donors to see how my art and the art of others does.  In addition, my painting will find a good home with someone who wanted it enough to pay for it.  My basement wall and storage area are filling up fast, and I don’t intend to quit painting.


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