Tuesday, October 24, 2000

Art the perfect soul food


Entries from seven countries to benefit local charities

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — “Visions of Mashed Potatoes,” a picture of clouds — fluffy like mashed potatoes — might make you chuckle.

        “Happy Moment,” a photograph of a forlorn blue-eyed Russian child holding a package of precious chocolate, might make you cry.

IF YOU GO
  • What: Feed the Body, Feed the Soul benefit art contest, auction and exhibit.
  • When: Preview party, awards announcement and silent auction 7-10 p.m. Saturday. Exhibition continues through Dec. 3.
  • Where: Fitton Center for Creative Arts, 101 S. Monument Ave., Hamilton.
  • Cost: $10 minimum donation for preview party, which includes music and food.
  • Information: 863-8873 or www.walltowall.com/fitton
        These are among the 250 works of art being exhibited at the seventh annual “Feed the Body, Feed the Soul” event at Fitton Center for Creative Arts.

        Half the money generated will go to the Shared Harvest Food Bank; the other half, to the Fitton Center.

        The juried art show opens Saturday with a preview party, silent auction and announcement of winners of $2,500, $1,000 and $500.

        This year's entries come from across the United States and six foreign countries — Japan, Russia, Greece, Argentina, Chile and Canada, said Cathy Mayhugh, the center's di rector of exhibitions.

        “Artists interpret this theme in so many different ways, and it's a theme that really touches them,” Mrs. Mayhugh said. She pointed out a personal handwritten note from artist Cleta Medders of Canute, Okla., and said, “The artist really put her heart and soul into this.”

        Ms. Medders' pencil drawing, “Look, Think and See” shows farmers, who “are expected to feed the world with very little thanks.”

        It also shows a grandparent in tears, overwhelmed by the responsibility of feeding and clothing grandchildren despite a meager income.

        “Many grandparents are in that category now,” the artist's statement said.

        Artwork made from all types of media — from paintings to pottery — are available, with themes from serious to whimsical.

        “It doesn't matter what art a person likes, we've got a piece of it here,” said Dean Bowman, who works at Shared Harvest and was helping set up the exhibit on Monday.

        In these times of national prosperity, it might be easy for some to forget the needy, Ms. Bowman said. “But most of us are probably one paycheck away from being in that food line.”

        All it would take is the temporary loss of a job and many people wouldn't be able to keep up with their usual costs for housing, transportation and food, she said.

        A pioneering sponsor of the event since its inception, Champion International (now International Paper), recently announced it was eliminating hundreds of jobs at its Hamilton plant, Ms. Bowman noted.

        Last year, the show raised $16,000 for the arts center and the food bank.

        Silent auction bids begin as low as $25.
       

       



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