For Immediate Release

Contact Monica Haskell, 305-295-4369


Art From the Heart II


Photo captions: (left)Michael Reckwerdt and family, Holly Merrill, Legislative Asst. to Rep. Ken Sorensen & Rich Jones, coordinator for the rotating art exhibits in the Marathon Government Center, and other excited attendees; (right) Tom Chasteen, auctioneer with volunteer students from Coral Shores HS.

On Friday night, January 30th at 7 PM the walls of the Islamorada Fishing Club were again stretched nearly to capacity by a crowd of 150 onlookers, club members and about 80 serious bidders at the second annual art auction known as Art From the Heart II.

More than 80 pieces of visual and fine art pieces were auctioned off in a live and silent auction by Tom Chasteen, auctioneer, who moved the crowd to bring more than $25,000 dollars reaching artists and the Florida Keys Council of the Arts, assisting in the support of Upper Keys artists and arts programs, as well as supporting the council's day to day needs. Several artists were in attendance including Millard Wells, Jeannine Bean, Shirley Shuman, Stacy Krupa, David DeHaas, and a number of other local artists.

Appreciated are the local organizations and people such as Elaine and Gerry Hirsch, Bette Brown of 1st State Bank, Brooks Clark of Brooks Clark and Associates who gave financial support to offset the cost of appetizers, printing and mailing costs.

Volunteers such as Louise Orzel, Janet Doto, Debbie Malone, Renee' Sebastian and many others made up the team that made the auction come to life. Monica Haskell, council CEO and Andrea Comstock, council office manager made sure things ran smoothly, while Coral Shores volunteer students aided in the quickly moving auction scene directed by Tom Chasteen. A side lines coach this year, due to several surgeries, Perri Johnson, gave direction so that the auction could be professionally set-up and run, and Dennis Johnson, of Mr. D's Designs, provided the men and transportation to haul and "schlep" the multitude of paintings, statues and glass pieces. One piece was eight feet tall, and was purchased by a Tavernier couple to be displayed in their entry foyer.

All in all, the evening was both a success in attendance and financial reward.s Next year, Art from the Heart III might be held in the Middle or Upper Keys a year from now. The Arts Council thanks the community for coming out and adding to the much needed support for our Upper Keys artists.

A late model automobile was purchased by one of our local benefactors, who also bought several fine pieces of art. The car had been donated by a Sugarloaf Key benefactor, brought to us by June Girard, Chair of the Arts Council.