It isn't always nature, gardening, food, and play over here. The summer is always a busy time for the Emmaus Arts Commission summer auction and this year we have so much to do!
Emmaus Arts Commission hosts Mailbox and Card Fundraiser
My life really is a blend of nature, food, gardening, education, sustainability and art. Don't forget the connection to art. In my [not so] free time, I am also an elected member of the Emmaus Arts Commission. We work within our community to foster a love and appreciation for the arts—in all forms: visual, digital, audio, physical, theatrical, fine art, and environmental arts. Everything we do is based on raising awareness, inspiring creativity, and encouraging youth to interact in an artful way within their environment.
Every summer, we host our main fundraiser event to earn money and donations which we put back into youth programs in our community. We give scholarships for our local high school students, host student film festivals, host a winter arts festival, and currently we are working to increase arts in all forms in many outdoor environmental settings. We have a fire hydrant program in conjunction with our fire department in which artists can create and design new fire hydrants around town. The hydrants are prepared by the fire department and require a special type of paint that we have purchased with the help of the public works department. If anyone is interested in submitting artwork or volunteering time, look online at our website. We are also working on a community mural project at Emmaus Community Park and hopefully, there will be a Children's art-inspired edible garden in one of our parks within the next year or so. Great things are coming up for our community!
Back to our summer fundraiser. In the past we have done events in which local artists turn something ordinary into something extraordinary. Think rain barrels, chairs, bird houses, garden gnomes, and now mailboxes. Don't worry, we checked with our local postmaster and got the "A-okay" because these are personal mailboxes. Since we like to think up crafty and catchy names for our events like CHAIRity and Gnome Sweet Gnome, yes, of course this one has a touching title. After such a long time of social distancing and choosing to congregate in small pods, we decided that this year we would host 20 mailboxes for local artists to design and recreate. We chose ten posted mailboxes and ten wall-mounted mailboxes. This year our fundraiser is called, "P.S. I Miss You." We want to encourage connection to art and to each other so we are including ten—one for each member of the arts commission—handmade cards that focus on one of each of our favorite art work or that represents our own personal style.
We will not only be auctioning the mailboxes this year but also selling individual cards or sets of cards created by each member of the EAC. Worried about summer slide? Have your child choose a pen pal and send a handwritten letter once a week. Haven't seen your grandmother in a while? I bet she would love a handwritten card with a few actual photos of her grandchildren. My children love getting actual cards and letters in the mail. I do too. I signed up for a pen pal program last year to write to a stranger for the summer [for myself and my son]. It was a great way to not feel pressured to say certain things. I just wrote small talk, a few questions, talked about my day, just normal stuff but it was nice to meet someone new. My son LOVED it. He and the other child wrote about every 3 weeks and practiced handwriting, vocabulary, and he even wrote a few poems and stories. I talk a lot about authentic childhood and the idea of a pen pal really takes the cake here.
"We use nature as our canvas and our frame!" ~Liam K, age 8
We will host our first day of the auction on Sunday, June 27 in the Triangle during the Emmaus Farmers' Market from 10am-1pm. This year since we have a range of sizes and styles we will have different sliding scales for starting bids and "buy now" options. Bids will run until August when the winners will be contacted to come pick up the winning mailboxes. Artists cards will be on sale the entire duration of the auction as a way to donate towards our mission. We will be at the Farmers' Market June 27, July 25, and August 22. We will probably be near the Triangle in front of South Mountain Cycle on most Sundays when we are not at the market's community table.
Last year was the second year that we held a "Gnome Sweet Gnome" auction but we hosted with a twist, "Musicians". Everyone really went wild over Gnome-Prince, Stevie Nicks, Bob Marley, Tina Turner, David Bowie, Paul Stanley, Elvis, Carmen Miranda, and others.
This year there is a wide range of professional artists, designers, local business owners, art teachers, hobby artists, and even a few student artists. Everyone was required to give a sketch or preliminary design, though some needed to take some creative liberties. We see nods to classical art, impressionism, pop art, surreal and fantasy, nature, animals, and even art nouveau-inspired designs. The image above is a sneak peek during the creation process of one of the mailboxes. It is covered in dandelion leaves and buds and still has several applications of color until it will be finished. I'm so excited to see how all of the mailboxes turn out. Please join us in person at the market or feel free to check out the designs once the auction starts on June 27, as bidding will be available online as well and we will ship for an additional fee depending on the size of the mailbox. This year we will also hand letter the winner's house numbers on the mailbox for an additional fee. Check out more at www.emmausarts.org
Learn. Love. Teach. Create. Give Back. Repeat.
That's all for today. I have to finish my mailbox. There is still so much painting to do!
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