FAYETTEVILLE — Last Saturday’s (June 23) Starry Starry Night ... almost Van Gogh Masterpiece Art Challenge and Auction raised almost $45,000 for Youth Bridge, double what the same event made last fall. The 300 in attendance was also double that of the 2011 affair, both of which were held at the home of Denise and Dr. Hershey Garner.
Nancy Hairston, the group’s director of development, said the money would go to restart Youth Bridge’s art therapy program and for summer activities.
The powers that be at Youth Bridge decided to try a summer date rather than a fall one, hoping to get more people to come.
“The new date seemed to be a big hit!” Hairston said.
More than 70 artists participated, including two young men who are graduating from Youth Bridge’s residential program. Their art piece brought in a considerable sum at auction, and no wonder, after guests heard their emotional stories of rehabilitation using art therapy.
The competition was judged by a panel of eight that included Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan, Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Steve Clark and Fannie Long, wife of University of Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long.
Winners in the youth division for artists 16 and under were Shannon Newcomb for “Starry, Starry,” first; Audra Daniels for “Deer Van Goghm” second; and Clio Rom for “Insomnia,” third. Among individuals competition, winners were Daymara Baker, “What Would van Gogh do with Humpty Dumpty,” first; Michael Eash, “Glittery Night,” second; and Eva Madison, Gogh Dog Gogh,” third.
Among teams, winners were Womanade, led by Diane Byram, “Starry, Starry Dickson Street,” first; Procter & Gamble, “Sunflowers,” second; and Hannah Hairston and Mollie Stehlik, “The Van Worhol,” third. The professional division was won by Ali Williams with “Sparkle Night.” Linda Sheets placed second with “Sunflowers ala Van Gogh” and third place went to Lisa Majors for “Sunflowers.”
Williams also won Best Overall and Best Use of Theme. Madison’s piece was dubbed Craziest Entry and the Procter & Gamble team won the award for Best Use of Materials. Baker won the People’s Choice award.