Fat Brush by Leonard Ragouzeos

"Fat Brush" donated by
Leonard Ragouzeos

Sculpture installation by Helen Hawes

Painting donated by RGS
artistic director Lydia Thomson

River Gallery School's 20th Auction Gala

Each year the River Gallery School holds a gala auction to raise funds for its scholarship program -- this year's event is its 20th! In the current economic climate, RGS administrators say the auction has particular import.

Artistic director Lydia Thomson emphasizes the event's party atmosphere. "There's a real community outpouring -- craftspeople and businesses contribute, as well as artists. It's fun!" The auctioneers, whether "imported" or local talent, are a show in themselves. "Runners" who parade the wares are often students, making the event delightfully family-oriented.

Work by RGS student Eva Shader

An example of student work
at RGS by Eva Shader

"There's a silent and a live auction filled with great experiences, great art, great food . . . all for a great cause," says Donna Hawes, administrative director at RGS. This year's auction artwork is by Petria Mitchell, Barbara Merfeld-Campman, Lydia Thomson, Tim Allen, Paul Stone, and Leonard Ragouzeos, among others.

The school was the "baby" of Merfeld-Campman and her then˝husband, Ric Campman, renegades from city life who settled in the area in the early '70s. (Ric passed away a few years ago after a lengthy battle with cancer, but his legacy endures.) In the early days of the auction, says Merfeld-Campman, she and a small crew of helpers made all the food. Over the years, numerous fine chefs have cooked for the event. This year Terri Ziter of The Putney Inn, one of the area's noted caterers, will provide the spread.

The auction outgrew its original home at West Village Meeting House and is now held at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center. The date is Saturday, March 20, with the silent auction bidding from 5 to 7:30, and the live auction getting under way at 7:30.

Some auction items can be previewed during Gallery Walk at the school. A growing list and "slide show" of items are posted at www.rivergalleryschool.org. For more information, please call (802) 257-1577.

Copyright 2010, Gallery Walk, Brattleboro, Vermont

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