Organizers of the Sixth Annual “Friends in Action” Clubhouse Art Exhibit said this year’s show was going to be bigger and better than ever before — and they weren’t kidding.
The exhibit, held Saturday at The Factory in Farmington, drew a record number of art lovers from around the area to view around 300 art pieces and take part in a live auction featuring a hand-picked selection of creative works.
That’s almost twice as many art pieces as appeared in last year’s show.
The biggest change in Saturday’s exhibit was the addition of artwork created by clubhouse staff, artists from within the community and consumers of BJC Behavioral Health. In previous years the show was made up solely of submissions made by clubhouse members.
Other additions to this year’s art exhibit was a $150 donation mde by Crossroads Custom Framing for the framing of a pre-selected piece of art purchased at the show, and a wine tasting provided by Sand Creek Winery, with all proceeds going to the clubhouse.
For some of the artists featured at the show, having their talent recognized — along with receiving a 20 percent commission from the sale of their work — was a dream come true. Among them was Vicky Billeda, 15, granddaughter of clubhouse member and prolific artist Betty Woods … who showed her work publicly for the first time at Saturday’s show.
“I have three pictures in the exhibit,” Billeda said. “I do watercolors, all kinds of painting with a brush and drawing. I was already interested in drawing, but when I began to see my mother and grandmother drawing, I started doing it a lot more. It’s really cool to be in the art show and I hope I sell my pictures.”
Feeling a particular sense of satisfaction at the show was Cindy Hoeflein, PSR team secretary at the clubhouse. She, along with Dawn Mathes of BJC Behavioral Health, had spent many hours over the last several months putting the exhibit together for another year.
“It’s just packed in here tonight,” Hoeflein said. “There was a crowd here at 3:30 today — 30 minutes before we even started. We have a lot of new people attending this year. Not staff people … people from the community. The community has really come in and supported us this time around.”
While the clubhouse holds other fundraisers throughout the year, the art exhibit has always received a great deal of public support. One of the show’s strong supporters is Rosie Galvan of Farmington who returned to this year’s exhibit after making her first visit in 2013.
“I think it’s wonderful,” she said. “The art that’s displayed by the residents shows such talent and I’m sure it’s also a great way for them to express themselves. I’ll definitely be back again next year.”
And then there were the first-timers to the exhibit who were impressed by what they saw.
“This is my first time to be able to make it to the art exhibit,” said Kim Gladstone, BJC Behavioral Health vice president. “I think it’s fantastic. It’s a great day to be out and celebrate the creativity and talent of our community.
“This is another way for BJC to let people know we’re a part of the community and that we want to give back. Some of the artwork here is downright inspiring.”
“The community has really come in and supported us this time around.” — Cindy Hoeflein, Friends in Action Clubhouse
Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or firstname.lastname@example.org