Gallery wraps fundraising campaign

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Submitted photo | Daily Times
‘Elephant Eye’ watercolor by Sandra Wilson

Submitted photo ‘Spilling Red’ acrylic by Amanda Benninghoff

Submitted photo | Daily Times
‘Valentine’s Elephant’ acrylic by Rene White

By Portia Williams

[email protected]

GRAYSON, Ky. — The Grayson Gallery recently wrapped up their joint-fundraising events with the Save the Elephants organization and record sales during May. Nearly 30 artists submitted more than 75 works for sale to benefit the two non-profits, among them were several donated pieces from participating artists.

The Grayson Gallery and Save the Elephants non-profit organizations were allowed 100 percent of their sales’ proceeds towards the causes. According to Dan Click, Grayson Gallery coordinator, Amanda Benninghoff, the artist who presented the idea, was very pleased with all results.

“This unusual themed-event was a wonderful surprise in both talented artists’ participation and the amount of works exhibited. Everyone concerned really enjoyed the idea and the public’s reaction was very positive as well,” Click said.

Click said art sales have steadily increased since the GGAC opened its doors in May, 2011 and this event, in celebration of the gallery’s four-year anniversary, saw the largest number of individual artworks sold and the highest net proceeds from sales to date.

Subject matter focused mainly on the elephant as well as an exotic animal theme (with an occasional rooster, frog and purple cow thrown in for good measure). 20 cities and six states were represented by artists who exhibited and visitors to the gallery numbered well over 250 throughout the limited hours during May.

In addition to the original art, prints and various other donated items for sale during this free event to the public, the gallery also presented live music on two occasions in May – ‘Sasha Colette & the Magnolias’ on May 22 and the “Larry Whitt Band” on May 29.

Click said they are very appreciative of the corporate sponsorship for the Memory Days weekend event on May 22, which was the Commercial Bank of Grayson. Several artists had multiple pieces of their work purchased and many patrons and buyers also made sure to do more than their share of supporting the gallery.

Proceeds from all art sales and other donations were split evenly between the two non-profits, and Click said Grayson Gallery is proud to be sending a check for over $500 to the Save the Elephants organization in Kenya, Africa.

The gallery was closed for remodeling of the office and future artist market space during June but will reopen to kick off summer programs with a solo exhibit by artist Ryan Morris (formerly of Smyrna, Georgia, and currently living in Morehead, Ky., where he attended Morehead State University) set for July 31, featuring live music by the FM Trio and refreshments. Plans for another art sale/fundraiser and a posthumous exhibit of the works of George Early is planned for Aug. 28 Final Fridays Art Walk.

Volunteers are welcome, and encouraged to help at the gallery. Working artists who wish to be a part of the GGAC’s plans for establishing an artist market beginning with summer Saturdays in August, are asked to contact Dan Click at [email protected], or by texting 606-922-0927.

Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.

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