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Wintergreen kicks off annual auction to include variety of community artists

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Wintergreen Arts Center in Presque Isle is hosting a silent art auction throughout October that features nearly 20 creative pieces from local artists.

On Friday, Oct. 4, Wintergreen began the auction with an exhibition during the First Friday Downtown Art Walk, giving community members their first chance to place bids. The exhibition, which will be on display until November, includes acrylic, watercolor and charcoal paintings as well as handcrafted signs, an antique dollhouse and a wooden birdhouse.

Wintergreen originally started an annual auction four years ago in the form of CHAIR-ity, in which folks could donate repurposed chairs to be sold in collaboration with the Presque Isle Rotary Club auction.

Staff photos/Melissa Lizotte

 Last year Wintergreen expanded CHAIR-ity to include other repurposed art pieces and decided to further those efforts in 2019 with Community HeARTS, which allows for any type of artwork.

Proceeds from the auction will benefit Wintergreen’s after-school and summer arts programs. Any artist wishing to participate can contact Wintergreen and drop off their artwork any time during October.

“It’s heartwarming to see people who have supported Wintergreen in the past as well as new folks participating and helping to promote one another’s artwork,” said Dottie Hutchins, Wintergreen’s executive director.

Many longtime Wintergreen instructors and supporters, as well as those who have held exhibitions at the center in the past, contributed artwork to the auction. Washburn artist Filomena Irving is auctioning a 36×48 acrylic canvas painting titled “Winter Wonderland,” while Wintergreen center manager Kara Addington has given a homemade barn sign that says “Our Nest.” Addington’s parents, Hermen and Pat Condon, are auctioning a handcrafted birdhouse.

Anne Hemphill of Presque Isle has been involved with Wintergreen since she began taking art classes from the organization soon after the center opened. For Community HeARTS, she is auctioning “country primitive decor” such as metal plates and a spoon and fork set with acrylic-painted hens.

“I had them just sitting in my closet at home, so I wanted someone else to enjoy them,” Hemphill said. 

Among the most unique items are a wooden desk donated by Aimee Wilkins and a three-foot-tall dollhouse donated by Beth Fogg. The dollhouse has been in Fogg’s family for several generations and features antique dolls and handmade furniture, rugs and doll clothing.

Anyone wishing to bid in the Community HeARTS silent auction can stop by Wintergreen at 149 State St. in Presque Isle or visit the center’s Facebook page from now until Nov. 1.

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