Art exhibit, auction to help Habitat for Humanity

By Josette Keelor

A Saturday evening effort to build houses for the community will not require hard hats, but cocktail attire is recommended.

Featuring the donated work of more than 30 artists, the fourth annual Habitat for Humanity of Winchester-Frederick County Salvage Art Show and Auction at the Museum of the Shenandoah in Winchester will give proceeds to the Habitat’s building and renovation project on Winchester’s Kent Street and Highland Avenue.

Founded in 1976, the international organization builds homes using donated materials and labor to keep down building costs and allow homeowners to secure 30-year mortgages without interest, said Joan Beverly, resource and development director for the nonprofit’s local office.

“It’s a home ownership program,” she said. “Our partner families have to have an income.”

The museum, which hosted once before in 2012, will display and auction off work donated by artists who use found or repurposed materials. From 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, all museum exhibits will be open to those who attend. Tickets are $40 in advance or $50 at the door and include a beverage ticket and hors d’oeuvres and light fare catered by Bonnie Blue.

Entertainment will feature music by piano soloist and jazz musician Caleb Nie, a Habitat homeowner in Clarke County.

Presenting sponsor City National Bank has also set up art in its lobby at the corner of Jubal Early Drive and Valley Avenue, said Vice President and Branch Manager Lori Eversole.

“We have five artists displayed,” she said. “It’s really really awesome work.”

Some of the art at City National will be added to the show on Saturday, which Director of Exhibitions Corwyn “Cory” Garman said is a perfect complement for the museum’s first-ever contemporary art exhibit this September, “Second Time Around: The Hubcap as Art.”

He said the success of the museum’s Art in the Halls series has helped identify a community interest in contemporary art shown at the museum, explaining, “It’s just something new that we’re doing.”

In previous years, artists turned a tricycle into a windmill and an old mannequin into art, Beverly said. Another poured resin over computer chips added to a brooch.

“It’s quite pretty actually. Contemporary, but pretty,” she said.

Habitat volunteer Geoffrey Wilkes of Gerrardstown, W.Va., contributed art he made by turning found and salvaged wood on a lathe.

“The pieces that I donated are vessels,” he said. “They’re not the traditional open bowl.”

They’re not intended to hold water or anything else, he said. “My primary concern is not function, it’s form.”

He took up woodturning as a hobby about 20 years ago. Being able to use his skill to help those he volunteers to help through Habitat is a double reward.

“I really believe in the organization and what we do to help people get in their first home and such,” he said.

“I think it’s a pretty special thing.”

Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com