The annual Esopus Creek Conservancy “100 for 100” fundraising art sale was held Saturday, Nov. 14 at the SebSi Studio on Main St. Scores crowded the gallery to listen to live music, eat delicious canapés served on platters by board members, have a glass of wine, and most importantly, purchase local art for a good cause.
The 100 pieces of art were each of equal size (8” by 8”) and each sold for $100. They were displayed anonymously. About half of the works were sold Saturday. The show can be viewed again Nov. 21-22 from 1-5 p.m. at SebSi, when the remainder will be available for purchase. A closing reception on Sunday will mark the dismantling of the show, when new owners will be able to take their artwork home.
In addition to stewardship of the Esopus Creek Preserve, the Esopus Creek Conservancy has developed an environmental education program, for which the funds raised by the “100 for 100” sale are earmarked. Currently partnering with Saugerties Boys and Girls Club, the program provides young people with a connection with nature that many would otherwise lack. Many local kids have never been to the Preserve, and even kids who spend time outdoors or in nature often don’t really know how to engage with what they see, says Virginia Luppino, former board member and currently consultant to the board. The program educates them through art and nature experiences that give them skills, information, and familiarity to appreciate and understand the natural world. She also said that there is a body of research that indicates that if children aren’t inspired by nature by the age of 10 or 12, they may never be.
The conservancy will use funds raised to support and expand this program, including finding new partnerships as well as adding educational experiences. It hopes to hire an environmental arts educator in the near future.