Auction picture perfect fundraiser for family
Art: Gallery holding silent auction for Noel Young
Wednesday, Apr 13, 2011 02:43 pm
Noel Young is a brave eight-year-old boy with a rare blood disease and he is on his way to Maryland, with his mother Anne Robillard for what could potentially be a life saving bone marrow transplant.
In an effort to help with travel and accommodation an Okotoks gallery and several foothills artists have partners to host a fundraiser for the Calgary family.
The Altitude Art Gallery in Okotoks has called on many of its feature artists to help with the expense of Young’s trip and his subsequent stay in Bethesda, Maryland, where the surgery will occur. The gallery is holding a silent art auction this Saturday, April 16 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with proceeds benefiting the Young family.
One of the artist’s contributing to the event, Foothills wildlife painter Wendy Palmer, said she has a personal connection to the cause.
“I’ve worked with a lot kids at Jaimie’s Preschool in Calgary for children with auto immune deficiencies and kids with cancer,” she said. “I’ve been able to get to know a lot of the kids at the school and Noel was one of them. I first met him about four year ago. ”
From that initial meeting Palmer has developed a great affection for Young and a valuable friendship with his mother as well.
“Anne and I have become good friends and we talk quite a bit,” the artist said. “She’s busy, we’re all busy, but myself and others try to get together and support her as much as we can.”
Leah Mitchell of the Altitude Art Gallery is organizing Saturday’s silent auction. She said she is pleased to have not only work from Palmer at the event but works from a handful of other talented artists including Doug Levitt a painter and sculptor of native themes, Okotoks wildlife photographer Kerry Statham and BC stone carver Vance Theoret.
Acclaimed Calgary nature painter Andrew Kiss, who just held a pair of workshops at the gallery, said he was not aware of Young’s story until Mitchell approached him to be a part of the auction.
“Basically, I searched his story out after I talked to Leah,” he said. “I looked at what Noel was dealing with and it certainly looked like a great cause to be a part of.”
Kiss is donating one original work of art and one giclee reproduction to the fundraising effort. The painter said it was not a tough sell for Mitchell to get him involved in the auction for Young.
“Pretty much as soon as she asked me I said ‘no problem’ because of the fact that I have made my living in art and have had such great support from a lot of people,” he said. “I felt this was another chance to pay back some of that.”
For her part, Mitchell said she is gratified to be able put Saturday’s charity event together and has been overwhelmed by the generosity of the featured artists. She said she hopes people will come out and enjoy themselves as they support Young’s trip south.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” she said “We’ve got musicians coming in and they are donating their time. Anne will be able to come out and not have had any part of the set up of this event. Usually she’s highly involved in what she tries to do for her child. If we can take some of the pressure off of her it’s a great thing.”
Wine and cheese will be served at the auction and the nearby Cactus Club Salon and Spa is pitching in by offering $25 hair cuts, massages and manicures with all the money going to Young’s cause.
With the boy’s transplant surgery set for May 19 Mitchell said things have taken a positive turn for Young but he is far from out of the woods.
“It’s really great news but this is the beginning of a very difficult road for Noel,” she said. “He’s going to have to go through chemo therapy and radiation therapy afterwards.”
Young’s post surgery recovery in Maryland will likely be at least four months and could stretch to as long as a year.
The Silent Art Auction for Noel Young goes Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Altitude Art Gallery on Elizabeth Street in downtown Okotoks.