Artists feature work for “At the Table” fundraiser at Buchanan Arts Center

Published 8:48 am Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Special to Leader Publications

Buchanan Art Center members are inviting people to join them “At the Table” this month in a fundraising event that showcases the talents and creativity of area artists. People can tour the center through May 20 to see and bid on all the table related items up for auction.

People can browse everything from dishes, glasses and flatware to paintings, antiques and uniquely decorated tables at the center. Silent bids are being accepted through the center’s gala celebration on Saturday, May 20, when the highest bidders will go home with all the sale items.

Center interim director Mary Lister reported that the gala will run from 5 to 8 p.m. May 20, with the bidding closing at 7 p.m. that evening. People don’t have to be present at the gala but run the risk of being outbidded as the final bids are made.

She noted that there are a wide variety of items for people to bid on, from antiques to new items and including a lot of pottery donated from the center’s ongoing pottery classes.

“This is a great opportunity for people to come back to the center or come for the first time,” Lister said. “We’ve had some people in who haven’t been here before.”

Lister said she and other center volunteers have been overwhelmed by the community’s support for this event.

“One hundred fifty people have donated items to us including many of the artists who have shown here at the center over the years,” Lister said. “All the funds raised will go to support the center.”

The inspiration for the
fundraiser came from the tables the Buchanan American Legion had donated to the center a few years ago. Center board members decided to offer the tables to artists to decorate in any way they wanted and then put up for sale.

“It was fun to see what people did,” Lister said.

The result is seven tables painted by some of the area’s best artists, including Niles resident Heather VanDyke Pletcher.

“The theme of my table is flowers with each of the four sides having its own flower garden,” Pletcher said. “I started working on it when there was snow on the ground and I worked on it off and on for a couple of months.”

Buchanan artist Patricia Banker donated some of her own works as well as items she has collected over the years, including a picnic basket for two. She creates religious themed pieces about saints, gods and goddesses that combine paintings and calligraphy.

Center board president Darlene Clevenger’s donations included a decoupage art dresser she created using a 1947 Paris scene.

“I love the fact that it’s a way to reuse something and give it a whole new purpose,” she said.

Another interesting item comes from center member Tom Fehlner, a retired Notre Dame professor. He has donated a chair he made of wood all gleaned from trees on his property outside of Buchanan. Woods represented in the chair include maple, sassafras, elm and apple.

Marjorie Foster Trapp was among those donating items she has collected. She brought in several items for the silent auction including rare dishes by Hall from the 1940s and 1950s that she collected through the years. She also donated an 1849 lithograph print by Hogarth, paintings and old games.

Lister is back at the center on an interim basis as the board searches for a new permanent director. Lister was among those who started the center in 2005 to showcase area artists and offer art classes. She served as the director for five years.

The center, which also includes a gift shop featuring the work of area artists, is located at 117 W. Front St. and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.

Upcoming events at the art center include new exhibits opening May 24 and the center’s annual Memorial Day weekend “Raku Walk Through” on Saturday, May 27. It takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during Buchanan’s “UnSanctioned” celebration. The Raku Walk Through gives people a chance to create a piece of pottery and take it home that day.