Owatonna in Support of Alzheimer’s holds first Art for Hope event

Published 9:39 am Friday, October 23, 2015

By Ashley Stewart

Owatonna People’s Press

OWATONNA — In the storefronts of six downtown Owatonna businesses sit 12 masterpieces.

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These pieces are displayed on guitars that were donated to Owatonna in Support of Alzheimer’s this summer for a new fundraiser.

“We wanted to do something different and fun that included our local artists’ talents,” said Deb Gillard with the organization.

So, Owatonna in Support of Alzheimer’s took the donated guitars and turned them over to area artists.

“We said, ‘Do whatever you do,’” Gillard said.

That resulted in 12 original pieces using a variety of media, including oil, acrylic and spray paints, decoupage and stained glass, to transform the guitars.

“We have everything from traditional art to whimsical,” Gillard said. “One is even playable.

“I’m so pleased with the outcome. They’re all different and beautiful.”

And on Saturday evening, the guitars will trade their places behind glass windows at Little Professor Book Center, Selective Looks, Central Park Coffee, Tone Music, Owatonna Shoe and Kristi’s for center stage at the Owatonna in Support of Alzheimer’s inaugural Art for Hope benefit event.

“They’re really the focus of the event,” Gillard said.

The event, which replaces raffles and dinners held as fundraisers for the organization in the past, will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Owatonna Arts Center and feature a silent auction, live auction, hors d’oeuvres and live acoustic music from The Enablers.

At 7 p.m., a social hour with hors d’oeuvres, live music and the silent auction will begin.

Gillard said the silent auction will showcase watercolor artwork on old sheet music created by area individuals living with dementia, noting some of their stories will be shared during the event.

“They’re really beautiful watercolors framed and matted,” she said.

The proceeds for the event will go toward Owatonna in Support of Alzheimer’s, which was founded in 2009 by local families affected by Alzheimer’s and local community professional who work with dementia-specific individuals.