Arts and Entertainment

'Arts, Hearts and Hammers' show and auction helps South Whidbey

“Power Tool” by artist Kim Kelzer is one artwork that will be auctioned at the “Arts, Hearts and Hammers” benefit on Friday, Feb. 6.    - Photo courtesy of Sandy Whiting
“Power Tool” by artist Kim Kelzer is one artwork that will be auctioned at the “Arts, Hearts and Hammers” benefit on Friday, Feb. 6.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Sandy Whiting

The community feeds art, art feeds the community.

Here is one cycle that comes from the heart.

South Whidbey artists have come out in droves to support Hearts & Hammers.

Hearts & Hammers of South Whidbey is an annual one-day blitz to repair and rehabilitate the houses of homeowners physically or financially unable to do so alone.

“Arts, Hearts & Hammers” is a benefit art show and auction at the Open Door Community Gallery in the Bayview Cash Store from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6.

Open Door Gallery + Coffee manager Sandy Whiting is one of the organizers and a participating artist.

She sees Hearts & Hammers as an important part of the community in part because of her own history.

“We never owned our own home, but we spent a lot of time repairing, painting and fixing up various rentals in an attempt to ‘create’ our own home,” Whiting said.

“We could not afford to put much money into our fix-it projects and the landlords didn’t offer to cover any expenses. So, we did our best. If an organization like Hearts & Hammers had been in our community, it would have made a huge difference in our lives,” she added.

Whiting proposed the theme of “Arts, Hearts and Hammers” knowing that local artists would have fun with it whether working in a two- or three-dimensional format. She encouraged images of heart, home, hammers, tools, building materials, structures and unusual houses.

She also reminded the artists that the work could be literal, philosophical, playful, spiritual or abstract and that any and all media and interpretations were welcome.

“I’m excited and curious to see what the artists have created,” Whiting said.

Another impetus for the Open Door team was to involve the community with artists and the art process while also getting the artists involved in the community.

Artists, Whiting said, are often asked to donate for fundraisers and have been expressing a recent problem of becoming “tapped out.”

“Arts, Hearts and Hammers” seeks to tackle that dilemma by offering one-third each of gross sales equally to Hearts & Hammers, the artist and the gallery. Some artists have chosen to donate their portion to Hearts & Hammers, which will be noted on their artwork.

Artists included in the auction are Kim Kelzer, David Price, Susan O’Brien, Georgia Gerber, Laura Hudson, Liza vonRosenstiel, Paul McClintock, Mark Fessler, Barbara Kolar, Craig Yamamoto, Kirk Prindle, Rob Hetler, Sandra Whiting, Susanne Newbold and others.

The event starts with a silent auction followed by a live auction with Jim Freeman as auctioneer. Appetizers, beverages and chocolate-covered strawberries will be served.

The one-day-per-year fix-it-up party began in 1994 as a pilot project under the sponsorship of the Langley United Methodist Church.

Hearts & Hammers has since grown into an independent, nonprofit program that is supported by the larger community, including churches, schools, service and community organizations, businesses and individuals.

A typical one-day volunteer effort includes, but is not limited to, projects such as:

• Roof or cutter repairs

• Wheelchair ramps

• Yard clean-up

• Plumbing repairs

• Electrical repairs

• Deck repairs

This year’s Hearts & Hammers’ volunteer workday is Saturday, May 2.

If you are a homeowner in physical or financial need in Clinton, Langley, Freeland or Greenbank, call 221-6063. A Hearts & Hammers intake volunteer will ask you a few questions that will get you started through the process.

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