To manage the anticipated crowd, the Foundation cleverly arranged two entrances with volunteers outside directing pre-paid guests to one door and walk-ins to another. Inside, campaign steering committee member Dee Sarno welcomed those with advance reservations, while board member Michelle Paquette greeted friends still needing to register. Mayor Scott Johnson and his wife, Julie, Honorary Chairs for the benefit, thanked many of the supporters mingling through the parlor and ballroom.
Amid 130 works of art presented by 57 artists, everyone enjoyed entertainment by Franklin Micare and LeRubb, with food provided by the Holiday Inn Saratoga, Olde Bryan Inn and Longfellows. Mixaritas Kelli and Jenn added spirit to the celebration serving beverages supplied by Capital Wine and Olde Saratoga Brewing Company.
Following a call for entries from the Mohawk Hudson Artists Register, a juried panel had selected the participating artists. Several were present to chat about their works, including Marilyn Cavallari, Leslie Peck and Peter Harrison. Committee member and artist Zach Lobdell displayed two of his original paintings available for purchase as prints that evening. Lobdell’s “Spirit of Life” stood at the main casino entry, and he explained how the acrylics and oils he used contain metal that reacts with salts in the paints to create striking patinas. The result is an exquisite work, complemented by a metal frame forged by another local artist, John Branson.
Painters Anne Diggory and Erik Laffer, a Schuylerville gallery owner, served as judges this year, presenting the Hacker-Craft Best in Show Award to Robert Bootier for “Ice Fishing on Saratoga Lake.” (Bootier won second place in the 2012 show.) Honorable Mentions were awarded to Gary Larsen, Mary Kathryn Jablonski, Pat McEvoy and Robert Gullie.
Most of the art was hung on reclaimed and antique doors assembled, and disassembled, by Teakwood Builders and the Best Buy Blue Angels. The unique display allowed easy viewing, and bidding. When the silent auction closed, 45 pieces were sold, with the artists donating 50–100 percent of the proceeds to the restoration campaign.
In the live auction, Tom Frost was the high bidder on Diggory’s “Fireworks Elm” and Michael Durling took home Laffer’s “Transition.” Preliminary figures indicate that over $15,000 was raised through silent and live auction ‘sales.’ The Preservation Foundation hopes to post unsold works online in the coming weeks.
Among the art enthusiasts in the crowd were Dr. Mark Moreau and his wife, Carole, City Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan, Mary Chen, Yong Li, Colleen and Ed Kelly, Carole Tarantino, Sheila Ahearn, Betsy Boland, Ashley Terwilliger, Lena Benvenuto, and board president Chris Armer with his wife, Kelly.
Coordinator Michele DeRossi expressed her appreciation to everyone who participated.
“Thanks to our many generous sponsors and the incredible planning committee, we exceeded the event’s fundraising goals. I’m grateful to every person who contributed, but special thanks must go to Susan Beadle, Zach Lobdell, Lauren Ross-Hixson, Mark Leskovec, Sara Boivin, Laura Provo-Parker and Colleen Provo for their tireless work and support.”
Philanthropist Katrina Trask commissioned the Spirit of Life Memorial in 1913 to honor her husband, Spencer, and his efforts to protect and preserve Saratoga’s natural springs. Completed in 1915, every facet of the memorial needs restoration. TRASK is a joint effort between the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation and the City of Saratoga Springs to promote awareness and raise funds for its preservation.
The Spirit of Life & Spencer Trask Memorial Restoration Campaign will continue through the memorial’s 10oth anniversary in 2015.