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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, June 27, 2022


Visual artists aren't asked to donate their professional output as often as musicians are, but when the request comes, if it's for the right cause, they can be the very picture of generosity.
Saturday night's fund raiser for The Safety Zone, St. John's not-for-profit agency serving victims of domestic violence, abuse, neglect and other crimes, illustrates the point.
Twenty-nine artists, most of them from St. John but some from St. Thomas, St. Croix and Puerto Rico, have contributed mainly original works for the agency's second annual art auction, which takes place at the Westin Resort. In the case of works valued by the artists at more than $300, it's not an outright donation, as they are entitled to 40 percent of the proceeds, but it represents a generosity of spirit nonetheless.
Further, Safety Zone executive director Iris Kern says, "Many of the artists have given works outright and others have listed minimum prices and said we can have everything above that."
Some other items also to be auctioned have a dollar value in excess of any of the art works. But an artist's giving of a piece of art differs significantly from a company's donation of goods and/or services. There's no wholesale value, and in the case of most artists, no need for a tax write-off. Other than a good feeling inside, the most an artist can hope to gain from giving a work to a worthy cause is "exposure" — and most of the artists contributing in this case are already well known in the community.
Here's what's been contributed by whom: an acrylic by Patricia Abraham, a canvas transfer of a lithograph by Les Anderson, a batiked silk caftan by Juliana Aradi, an oil by Susan Breske, a pastel by Carolyn Caldwell, an oil by Cathy Carlson, an oil by Robin Clair-Pitts, two mixed-media collages by Janet Cook-Rutnik, an oil by Donald Laurent Dahlke, several prints by Alvin Dalmida Jr., an oil by Jan Dunn, an oil and a monoprint by Lisa Etre, an oil by Victor Horvath, a painted mirror by Enjil Inui, a wall hanging/rug by Sloop Jones, an oil by Diane Kreiner, a watercolor by Jean Rosow, a quilt by Karen Samuel, a ceramic light fixture by Donald Schnell, a print by Lucinda Schutt, a watercolor by Kat Sowa, two oil paintings by Eunice Summer, two ceramic bowls by Gail Van de Bogurt, a watercolor by Corinne Van Rensselaer, a photo collage by Constance Wallace, a batik by Doreen Walsh, an etching by Jonna White, an oil by Eric Winter and an acrylic by Denise Wright.
In addition, nine paintings from the estate of Eve Jennen have been donated by Dee Clark; they comprise three by Clark, two by Mitford Carter and four by off-island artists.
Also up for the bidding are jewelry and furniture items, assorted dining options (including dinner for 8 in a private home), 10 rounds of golf and six yards of concrete. Plus a weekend at Caneel Bay Resort and — the biggie — a week at the Westin Resort, that being the Westin in Maui and including airfare to Hawaii and back.
The evening will start off at 6 p.m. with cocktails and a preview of the items to be auctioned. The more valuable pieces, including 40 paintings, will be sold in open bidding conducted by St. Croix auctioneer Bruce Wilson; the others, via silent auction. Charge cards will be accepted. Dinner is set for 8 p.m. and there will be music throughout the evening by Carl Powell and Margo Diaz.
Tickets are $75. They're available on St. John at the Safety Zone office, Connections, The Drug Center and the Westin front desk, and on St. Thomas as the Color of Joy, Education Station and Jonna White Gallery. For more information, call 693-7233.

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