Annual Autumn House fundraiser

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Artists Lisa Pennington, Gil Collicott & Michael Cormier

AMHERST – It has to be one of the biggest evenings for art in Amherst’s annual calendar. The Autumn House Art Draw, which has been held for almost 20 years, will bring lovers of art to the Wandlyn Inn for a night of beverages and hors d’ouevres and – for charity’s sake – bidding to take home a hand-crafted work.

“So far we have 60 (artists),” said Caroline Foster, a support counselor at the shelter for abuse victims involved in coordinating the Jan. 26 fundraiser.

Artists donate their work, which is auctioned off, with all proceeds going to Autumn House. The same event raised more than $10,000 last year.

“It’s one of our biggest fundraisers that we have,” said Foster.

Mark Boon is a local artist who has contributed pieces since the event’s inception.

“I’m a painter, using acrylics…I usually donate a number of paintings,” said Boon, who lives in Joggins.

This year he’s contributed four 16X20 paintings. The subjects vary, from a child leading a horse, silhouetted by a sunset, to a seascape he described as surreal (he’s looking forward to seeing the reaction to the experimental piece).

“Whatever the spirit tells me, “ he said of his subject choices. “I follow my heart.”

He said the fundraiser is for a great cause, but it’s also “(a) very enjoyable evening.”

Not that she’s impartial, but Foster agrees.

“It’s a night in January to come and have some fun – and the food is going to be really good.”

Autumn House’s executive director, Terry Cove, said this is the first year the printed program will feature advertisers. Tim Horton’s-Wendy’s is a gold sponsor of the event.

The Wandlyn Inn is catering (discounted hotel rooms are available for those attending the auction). The support counselor said lots of people choose to dress up but it’s not required. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the auction begins an hour later. Tickets are $25 per person, which includes two drinks (beer or wine) and eats. The auctioneer is Andy Carter. Foster said Carter keeps things moving and she expects the auction to wrap up before midnight.

The woman wanted to extend thanks to the donor artists.

“They’re very supportive – we’re very grateful for that.”

Tickets can be purchased at Autumn House, Bella’s Café, The Art of Eating Deli and Gordon’s Ladies Wear.

esparling@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Wandlyn Inn, Autumn House Art Draw, Ladies Wear

Geographic location: AMHERST, Joggins

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