Knights to auction paintings


Are you thinking of doing some redecorating as spring approaches? Maybe that empty wall in the hallway could use a nice picture? Or maybe the den, to brighten it up.

For $5, you can go to an art auction, enjoy hors d'oeuvres, buy a painting -- which will cost more than $5, of course -- for that wall, and help a local high school student get through college.

It's the 11th annual benefit art auction for the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Council Knights of Columbus, with the doors opening at 6 p.m. tomorrow at St. Joseph's Church, 915 Liberty Road, Eldersburg.

"Two years ago, we sold $17,000 worth of art, and last year $24,000 sold in one night," said Sean Harrigan, co-chairman of the event. "You can buy tickets at the door. Three hundred people showed up last year, and we expect that many this year."

Several features make this auction a fun night, as well as a community service project. There are decorative ice sculptures and fancy hors d'oeuvres by Kevin's Katering of Sykesville to munch on while viewing the art offerings.

Piped-in chamber music this year, rather than live music, will lessen the distractions during the auction.

All art comes from the Heisman Fine Arts Gallery Inc. of Ardmore, Pa., which has done the Knights' auctions for all but one year, Mr. Harrigan said. About 200 paintings, 25 of which are more expensive collectors' pieces, and the 25 sculptures will go on the auction block starting at 7 p.m.

The paintings and sculptures are by artists such as Delacroix, MacWilliams, Llewelyn, Erte, Ebgi, Cardin, Scott and Neiman. Attending this year will be Annapolis artist Neil Harpe.

"Neil Harpe does inner harbor scenes of Annapolis and Baltimore, and he'll be there from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. with 10 of his prints to be auctioned," Mr. Harrigan said.

If you don't have a lot of money to spend on art, not to worry. Most paintings go for $50 to $200, with the collectors' pieces as high as $2,000, Mr. Harrigan said.

The auction also is for a good cause.

"This is for the Robert H. Clarke Memorial Scholarship Fund," Mr. Harrigan said. "Robert Clarke was a member of the Knights of Columbus who passed away unexpectedly, and we decided to do something in his memory, so we started this scholarship."

In its beginning, the scholarship was for $500 a year for fouyears, contingent on the student maintaining his or her grades. But when the auction started bringing in more money, the Knights increased it to $1,000.

Only graduating seniors from Liberty and South Carroll high schools are eligible for the scholarship. The main criteria the Knights look for are community service and the most deserving student.

"So we're supporting four scholarships a year and what we'd like to do is get to the point that the interest on the money will support the scholarship each year, but for that we'd need about $100,000," Mr. Harrigan said. "Right now we have about $20,000."

Students interested in applying for the scholarship can call Gerry Macready at 795-2550.

The Knights also will raffle a couple of paintings, with the proceeds from one going to help a needy family in the community, Mr. Harrigan said.

For information about the auction, call Mr. Harrigan at 795-6915.

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