People and place defined the art-inspired theme and contributed to the success of the Oak Park Art League's first annual Spring A.I.R. Benefit, held on Friday, May 16 in the private residence of Drs. Werner and Paula Meier. Artistic moments infused throughout, their elegant 1909 George W. Maher home proved the perfect backdrop for a fundraiser designed to both celebrate and sustain community artists — or as OPAL refers to them: Artists in Residence (A.I.R.)
In addition to the homeowners, the Art League would like to thank its many guests, 100-plus artists, and art appreciators whose contributions helped raise over $5,000 in support of the educational resources, programming and scholarships OPAL provides to area fine-art students.
Immense gratitude to Spring A.I.R. chair, Jennifer McNulty and her fellow board members, John Chapin and Ginny Pitre-Hay, for coordinating event details, and an energetic committee of volunteers. Among the many lending time and talent were artists Kathy Hirsh, Ken Czech, Ginny Pitre-Hay and Karl Fresa, whose portrait sketches of guests contributed to the artistic ambiance. Original works of art, generously donated by local artists Ken Reif, Roberta Malkin, John Chapin, Kathy Hirsh, and Ginny Pitre-Hay were awarded to five lucky raffle winners.
OPAL is especially appreciative of our friends and community sponsors, without whose support success would not be possible — Food Obsession, Whole Foods, Fig Catering, Hemmingway's Bistro, Trattoria 225, Domino's Pastries, House Red Vinoteca, River Forest Chocolates, and Moss Modern Flowers. Special thanks to our music artists, Jonah Philion and Patrick Dugan, whose cool jazz set the tone for a vibrant evening.
The Oak Park Art League extends our sincere appreciation to all involved in the success of this most important fundraiser. If you missed the event this year, we hope to have you with us for Spring A.I.R. 2015.
P.S. More A.I.R. activities to come: If you're an artist who enjoys taking your work outdoors, watch for OPAL's Pop-Up Plein A.I.R., a painting and drawing collective popping up all over town this summer.
Executive director, Oak Park Art League