Local art ist Nancy Fleming admires the end table “Explore,” created by Paloma Dooley and Sienna Fleming, during an opening reception at Tinnie Mercantile & Deli, Saturday. (Noah Vernau Photo)
Twelve highly unique end tables intrigued spectators at the opening reception for 13 artists who creatively enhanced each table to benefit the Community Foundation of Chaves County, Saturday. The silent auction at Tinnie Mercantile & Deli continues through October 20.
Among the collection is a table that functions as a Zen garden, a traveler’s table with a battery operated butterfly and a table that displays a nativity scene. Nancy Fleming with Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art was chosen by CFCC to find the artists who participated this year, and helped coordinate the project.
“It’s a really high quality batch of artistic tables,” Fleming said. “When you give an artist something this big, it is difficult to figure out what you’re going to do that doesn’t take a year but looks like it took a year.”
Fleming said the artists all responded within their mediums and disciplines extremely well, resulting in tables both functional and nonfunctional and that range thematically from fun and playful to grim or serious. “It is such a big canvas to work on. They really are volunteering their time and their talents, so it speaks volumes for artists always giving back to the community and trying to help their community with their talents.
“They’re very unique, very fun, and I really appreciate all the artists who periodically I have to beg to do things, and they do!”
CFCC Executive Director Susie Russell said whenever creativity is used as a means to help the community, it’s exciting. “It only adds to any event to have the artist’s individual vision of what their piece is going to be, and it brings a whole different element to our event. It brings those people who are in the artists community and want to support us in this way. It’s just a fun event for everybody.”
The opening reception, the culmination of a full year of planning, was the last fundraiser for CFCC, which closes its office on Oct. 31. Russell, who has been executive director since 2003, said that as her career with CFCC draws to a close, she will always remember how much has been done with the community.
“It’s been a wonderful journey for me, to get to know the community on such a deep level,” Russell said. “The amount of money that we’ve been able to give back through the grants has been sizeable, and that’s made a deep impact.
“In general, the community foundation for these past 15 years has been a leader in philanthropic giving, and it’s made Chaves County better for it.”
Alan Applegate, board president, commented, “It’s actually a sad event, if you look at it from the community’s standpoint. Because we’ve helped so many people out in the community, and it’s just very unfortunate that at this time we have to close because we’re out of operating funds. It’s sort of a send-off for Susie, too.”
CFCC presented its fall grants totalling $7,000 to seven organizations, its last grant session. The organizations that received grants include Embrace Inc., Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest, Kids’ Closet, Loaves & Fishes Community Development Corporation, Roswell Museum and Art Center, The Salvation Army and Wings for L.I.F.E.