BY SUSAN HANAFEE – More than 50 items, many of them original art pieces by local artists, will be for sale in the Methodist Church Fellowship Hall from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 14. Proceeds will benefit women and children in need who are served by charities in Lee, Charlotte and Sarasota counties.
The art sale is one of several small activities scheduled by the United Methodist Women in lieu of the annual Strawberry Festival, which is normally held in March but was postponed due to COVID restrictions.
“Even though we couldn’t have our traditional big fundraiser, our members have stepped up with creative ideas to bring in money, and the community has been generous with its donations. We are so grateful because the need is even greater now than in the past,” says Dian Klepser, co-president of the UMW along with Billie Deason.
One of the featured pieces will be a painting by Jane Carlson, whose works are well-known and treasured by island residents. Jane has been donating pieces to the church and to many other island charities for decades. Because she is considered a “special lady” by the UMW, her oil painting of a shell and shawl will have its own bid sheet, giving everyone a chance to own this beautiful piece of art. Bidding on this item will end at 2 p.m.
All other items will be individually priced. Sales will be by check only. No cash or credit cards will be accepted.
Among the donated items will be two original works by Wini Smart, an oil and a watercolor, pastels by several local artists including Pam Hannah, glass pieces by Esther Jensen, two watercolors by Cecilia Bisset, an original oil of waterlilies by John Mitchell Sr. and a handmade wooden bowl by George Benisek.
An antique rosewood table, mosaic trays, two wooden zebras from Africa and Carroll Swayze puzzles will be some of the more unusual items in the sale.
Visitors entering the church from Gilchrist Avenue should do so quietly during worship services, which end at noon. Please be prepared to wear a mask and social distance during the sale.