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Creating for a cause: 8×8 Create! auction to benefit library

By Iyee Jagne - For the Chronicle | Feb 12, 2021

"Dolphin Watch" is a watercolor created by West Virginia Watercolor Society member Dennis Clarke for the auction. Courtesy photo

SHEPHERDSTOWN — The Friends of the Shepherdstown Library (FOSL) will be holding a virtual art show and auction, 8×8 Create!, featuring the donated work of local artists and crafters of all ages, from Feb. 19 to Feb. 27 at 6 p.m.

Local residents were able to donate to the fundraiser, by picking up FOSL-provided 8“x8” canvases at the Shepherdstown Public Library or using their own surfaces to create items for the auction.

Winning bidders will be contacted to arrange item pickup during the first week of March. The proceeds from this fundraiser will go towards FOSL’s annual contribution to the library, to be used for books and programming needs.

“We hope that 8×8 Create! will be a successful fundraiser, especially since some of FOSL’s usual events, such as the Rumsey Radio Hour and Golf Scramble, had to be canceled during the past months due to the pandemic,” said FOSL volunteer Jennifer Bean. “We thought this would be a fun chance for community members to explore their creativity with a winter art project and support the library.”

This will be the first time a virtual art show has been held to raise money for the library. According to Bean, the amount of auction submissions has spoken volumes for how much the community appreciates the library.

Amanda Crough hand-painted this conch shell with acrylic paint. Inside the shell is painted the hidden message, "Be Kind." Courtesy photo

“I love libraries and art, and this fundraiser combines them both! We have received over 60 donations from artists so far, so it’s obvious that folks around here really appreciate the Shepherdstown Library,” Bean said.

Although Rosemary Nickerson is a retired biologist and SPL Board of Trustees member, she also happens to have artistic gifts, which she put to use for the auction.

“This fundraiser gave me the motivation to take up painting again, after a long hiatus,” Nickerson said, mentioning she gave up art to focus on earning her doctoral degree.

Since she is retired now, Nickerson felt free to begin exercising her creative side again.

“I have the time and focus to pick up those brushes again,” Nickerson said. “My inspiration is the continual beauty I find in the natural world. I hope someone out there will like my paintings enough to make a bid for the benefit of the Shepherdstown Public Library.”

FOSL President Rob Sisk indicated he was pleased with variety of artwork donated to the fundraiser.

“Jefferson County and Shepherdstown are full of creative artists, who are such a supportive community. [I am] always amazed at the creativity you can find in Jefferson County,” Sisk said. “[This fundraiser is] a great opportunity to pick up some unique art and support your library at the same time.”

To look at the artwork and bid on some of the pieces, visit https://www.biddingowl.com/Auction/home.cfm?auctionID=25445.