Rob Schouten Gallery at Greenbank Farm has its heart in the right place as usual, as it welcomes more than 40 local artists to help raise a roof or two for those in need.
The Arts for Hearts & Hammers Benefit Exhibition opens Friday, Feb. 1 with a heart-filled party from 5 to 8 p.m. at the gallery and continues through Feb. 25. The original art sold at this show will help an organization on South Whidbey that began two decades ago and has been near and dear to many hearts ever since. Proceeds from the sales will benefit the Hearts & Hammers workday to help homeowners in need on South Whidbey.
“For the past 20 years, the grassroots-grown ‘Hearts & Hammers’ has exemplified neighbors helping neighbors here on South Whidbey,” gallery co-owner Victory Schouten said. “Over the years, thousands have volunteered and offered whatever they could, and hundreds, unable to care for their homes physically or financially, have been greatly helped. Hearts & Hammers volunteers have worked to keep these homes safe and useable, with respect and without judgement. It is an amazing volunteer-run organization,” she added.
In past years, an auction and art show was hosted by the former Open Door Gallery and raised much needed funds for building supplies and tools for the first Saturday in May workday that is the traditional date of the Hearts & Hammers helping hands venture.
“With that gallery gone, we felt the gap and decided to move to fill it with the new Art for Hearts & Hammers Benefit. We plan to make this benefit art show an annual February event,” Schouten said.
The “Art for Hearts & Hammers Benefit Exhibition” manages sustainability by dividing sales equally three ways: one third to the artists, one third to the gallery and one third to Hearts and Hammers. In this way, the artists can afford to contribute and the gallery to operate, while still raising money for a good cause. Some participating artists may choose to donate their portion to Hearts & Hammers, which will be noted on their artwork.
The opening night party will feature refreshments and a chance to chat with fellow Hearts & Hammers enthusiasts, the contributing artists and a general show of support to help this large-hearted, nonprofit organization raise funds.
A giant gaggle of Whidbey’s finest artists will participate in the benefit, including artists who are represented by other galleries besides Rob Schouten Gallery, such as Brackenwood Gallery and Museo, and other local galleries, all of which have shown their support and come together for the cause that is close to many hearts.
The artists include: Maryon Attwood, Morgan Bell, Anne Belov, Francy Blumhagen, Karin Bolstad, Buffy Cribbs, Angie Dixon, Richard Engstrom, Richard Evans, Dan Freeman, Georgia Gerber, Rob Hetler, Randy Hudson, David Iles, Cary Jurriaans, Kim Kelzer, Richard LaLonde, Bruce Launer, Robbie Lobell, Mark Lucero, Bruce Morrow, Barbara Mundell, Susanne Newbold, Anna Mastronardi Novak, Jim Patereau, Cheri O’Brien, Kathleen Otley, Rob Schouten, Mike Scott, Mark Skullerud, Tammi Sloan, Sharon Spencer, Sue Taves, Kim Tinuviel, Michel Tsouris, Lloyd Whannell, Sandra Whiting, Don Wodjenski, Cyndi Wolfe, Frances Wood and Beth Wyatt.
(Pictured at top, “Navitating Life’s Rough Edges” by Morgan Bell.)