Artwork for good

Silent auction of pieces created by Opportunities Unlimited participants and local artists will benefit the nonprofit organization that helps people with disabilities

click to enlarge Jaymee Laws painting
Jaymee Laws painting

Clients of a local nonprofit agency for people with disabilities were paired with area artists to create pieces for a silent auction set for Friday in downtown Lewiston.

The Diversity in Art fundraiser, from 5-9 p.m. at Art Uncorked Downtown, will benefit Opportunities Unlimited, which provides training, employment and support services to people with emotional, physical and developmental disabilities.

Jaymee Laws, a Lewiston artist and parent of an OUI participant, organized the event to raise money for the organization’s activity fund, which provides access for children like her son Ezra, who is autistic, to therapeutic activities like swimming and bowling.

“Many children who go there (to OUI) don’t have money to do these things,” Laws said. “When they don’t, they’re very limited. They can go to the library or a park, but in our little valley it’s pretty limited what they can do.”

Laws conceived the idea to combine the efforts of OUI participants and local artists from an experience she had several years ago when Ezra, then about 5 years old, drew on pieces she was working on. The result, rather than ruining the artwork, was something special.

“They looked really cool, so I just kept them,” she said.

Laws employed a similar technique for the fundraiser.

“So we got the kids to paint the canvases, let the participants paint whatever they wanted on the canvases, then got seven local artists — who volunteered their time (so) all profits go to OUI — each doing a simple bit of art on top of the canvases,” she said.

Art Uncorked owner Myndie VanHorn donated canvases and studio space for the artwork to be created, and the silent auction will take place at her store in Towne Square, 504 Main St. No. 240.

The pieces in the silent auction will start around $15-$20, Laws said.

Laws’ husband, Jim, and fellow musicians Mason McCroskey and Laki Ahi of The Maple Bars will perform during the event.

The artists who worked with the OUI participants include Laws, Art Uncorked owner Myndie VanHorn, Kaitlin Harris, Paul Fuson, James York, DeeDee Wood and Kayla Pettingill.


WHAT: Diversity in Art silent auction.

WHEN: 5-9 p.m. Friday (Nov. 5).

WHERE: Art Uncorked Downtown, Towne Square, 504 Main St. No. 240, Lewiston.

OF NOTE: Artwork created in collaboration between Opportunities Unlimited clients and local artists will start around $15-$20 in a silent auction to raise money for OUI’s activities fund.

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