Northwest artist Georgia Gerber is known for her life-sized sculptures in galleries and parks across the region. Around the holidays her pieces are smaller, but the impact may be larger.
Every year since 1999, Gerber and her husband, Randy Hudson, have sold table-top versions of her sculptures to raise money for Whidbey Island nonprofits. Last year, the couple partnered with Whidbey Community Foundation to streamline the process.
“So that means more of people’s donations go to local service organizations,” Hudson said.
A pewter version of Gerber’s Sheepish Rabbit is available this year for a minimum donation of $200. The three-inch pieces can be ordered online and picked up at Rob Schouten Gallery. Last year’s Settling Owl is also available for purchase. The works can be shipped for an additional $5 donation.
The materials to make each sculpture cost around $80, so $120 of the contribution is tax-deductible and will go to a number of nonprofits chosen by Gerber and Hudson.
Last year, the effort grossed $15,000 that was distributed to various Whidbey nonprofits, such as the Holiday House, Readiness to Learn and Whidbey Island Nourishes, according to Steve Shapiro, Whidbey Community Foundation board president.
Hudson said he and Gerber approached the foundation to keep their program going and still ensure the money was distributed to a variety of causes. It was a perfect fit, he said.
“We exist to support the nonprofits on Whidbey Island and to support the people who work at those nonprofits,” Shapiro said.
There are around 100 sculptures available immediately, Hudson said, but more can be ordered if there’s more demand. The Clinton artist is known for her piggy bank sculpture in Pike Place Market, modeled after a real-life sow from Whidbey Island named Rachel.
She has recently been commissioned for another Seattle public art piece in First Hill Park.
Although her art can be found all over the Puget Sound area, the annual holiday fundraiser is Whidbey-focused.
“I feel grateful that we have a wonderful community to support,” Gerber said, “and happy that this project has helped so many.”
- Sculptures can be ordered at www.whidbeyfoundation.org