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Exhibit at Evergreen Fine Art benefits school art programs

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By Sara Miller

The owners of Evergreen Fine Art, Barb Hadley and Phil Shanley, along with the rest of the gallery staff, have become known for their keen eyes for beautiful art and their charitable giving to their community. The latest show at the gallery, Weekend in the West, combines the best of these traits, promising to be a weekend of highly sought-after art and charitable support for our mountain schools’ arts programs.


“Weekend in the West isn’t just a show,” Hadley says. “It’s a weekend of festivities. We did a similar event last year, for which the beneficiary was the Colorado Dominican Vocation Foundation. It was a very worthy cause, but we started brainstorming about how we could support organizations within our own community.
“Phil and I have always been big supporters of our schools, and we figured, what better way to support our mountain schools than to make arts education and appreciation a priority? We did some brainstorming with Steve Sumner (executive director of the Center for the Arts Evergreen), and came up with an exciting collaboration.”
First, staff from CAE and Evergreen Fine Art approached fifth-grade art classes in mountain schools at the end of the 2010-11 school year: Wilmot, Rocky Mountain Academy, King-Murphy and Evergreen Country Day. Thirty-six students contributed original artworks, which were converted to china plates to be available for sale and auction. Evergreen Fine Art solicited art for plates from 36 of its artists. The result is a dynamic display titled “The Masters of Today and Tomorrow.”  
On Wednesday, Aug. 24, the gallery will hold a reception at 4 p.m. for all the young artists and their families. At this time, silent-auction-style bidding will begin for all of the plates. The bidding on all plates (by the young artists as well as the professional artists) begins at $40 and will continue throughout the weekend. All proceeds from the plate sales will be contributed to a grant fund to be administered by the Center for the Arts Evergreen for mountain schools’ arts programs.
On Friday evening, Evergreen Fine Art will host a Western-style reception and art opening for Weekend in the West’s gallery show. This show consists of original artwork by 60 well-known artists and sculptors from around the country. Artists of both local and national acclaim contributed paintings, sculpture and 3-D artwork to show. The reception will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 26, and Hadley and Shanley are generously donating 5 percent of the show’s proceeds to the grant fund.
Saturday, Aug. 27, is a day packed with Weekend in the West events. From 9 to 10:30 a.m., participating artists will conduct a quick-draw in the gallery’s outdoor sculpture garden. In the quick-draw, artists create a painting from blank canvas to finished product in the allotted time. Immediately following the extemporaneous painting frenzy, the gallery will host a ticketed champagne brunch and live auction of the quick-draw works. All proceeds from Saturday’s events will also be contributed to the grant fund.
“These artists create paintings from memory, from a photograph or a still life,” says Hadley. “The artwork ends up being loose and fun, and people get so excited about bidding on something they’ve watched being painted.”  
For more information about Weekend in the West events, or to reserve tickets to the champagne brunch and live auction, visit www.evergreenfineart.com or call 303-679-3610.

Sara Miller, a freelance writer and a resident of Evergreen, lives with her husband, two children and a dog.