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QuickDraw’s 17th Annual Live Art Benefit on May 19th

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Spring brings lively annual color as well as the unique and colorful QuickDraw, a live art benefit where guests watch artists create during an eye-popping hour.

The nonprofit QuickDraw’s 17th annual Live Art Benefit will take place on May 19th at 4:30 pm at Laurel Ridge Country Club in Waynesville, and the lineup of fine artists and fine crafters has been announced. With mini-studios set across the great hall and outdoor pavilion, the evening includes a one-hour quickdraw, art auction, and dinner with the artists.

At QuickDraw, artists step out of studios to publicly support art teaching in schools. Guests watch paintings materialize as they evolve from bottom to top layer, in real time. Top bidders buy the art, raising funds to help art teachers and students. A meet-the-artists dinner follows the auction.

A top regional arts draw, QuickDraw attracts locals and visitors who seek a ‘wow’ art experience. New residents can meet artists to commission. Artists make friends and new collectors while putting their talents to the benefit of teaching.

Three dozen regional artists will create live in the Laurel Ridge clubhouse and pavilion, while guests watch, sip, stroll and marvel. After the fast-paced quickdraw hour, artists sell the finished originals at auction. On the auction block, artists describe the journey and its remarkable provenance. Top bidders score original art for home and gifts, and buyers meet artists over a post-auction dinner.

Each artist offers one completed original at auction. Artists donate at least 50% of the sale to quickdraw’s mission of funding art supplies in county schools classrooms, and helping students get to college to pursue art-related careers. Since 2001, QuickDraw artists and buyers have raised $139,000 in classroom supply grants and scholarships, funding over 90,000 individual art projects in Haywood County Schools.

There’s lots to see. A returning crowd favorite will be Ann Vasilik, whose streetscape watercolors grace boardrooms and banks across the south. With a six-foot overhead mirror reflecting her strokes, onlookers can watch her lay down color from two angles. (This is Vasilik’s last QuickDraw appearance before retirement to Cary).

A new addition in the craft category is fly expert Tommy Thomas. A past President of Trout Unlimited’s Potomac region chapter, Thomas will hand-craft a traditional flyrod and talk with onlookers during the creative hour.

The evening is lively and transformative. Teachers display QuickDraw-funded student art, students hawk tickets for a fifty/fifty drawing. A champion Tennessee auctioneer good-humoredly solicits bids and laughter from the gallery. The great hall itself flips from art studios back to dining room for dinner.

Guests call it fun, artists call it a challenge, and all help art teaching in schools.

The event features an over the shoulder, bird’s-eye-view of fine regional artists who accepted the QuickDraw challenge to race the clock to start and complete an original work. Artists are permitted a prepared surface and an outline sketch. The execution and laydown of color and form occurs in the moment, driven by instinct and laser focus. During the QuickDraw hour, one-hour artists create side-by-side with fine craft artists, who use process-intensive media that cannot be completed in a day.

One-hour challenge artists will work in oil, acrylic, colored pencil, pastel, mixed media, watercolor, ink and wax. At the same time, fine craft artists will create not-against-the-clock in wood, paint, flyrod materials, fused glass, jewelry, steel, stained glass, layered paper, textiles and clay.

All artists bravely step into the glare on behalf of art teachers in county schools. Known for their ability to work fast as outdoor plein-aire painters, one-hour artists embrace the challenge after practicing with studies during the spring. Returning artist Kelly Lanning Phipps quipped that QuickDraw is “plein-aire under controlled conditions.”

Tickets are $75, and include the live quickdraw, a live-music social, auction, and meet-the-artists dinner. Proceeds furnish classroom art supplies in schools and college scholarships for artrelated studies. For schedule and tickets, visit WNCQuickDraw.com. For more information, call 828-734-5747.