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Cumberland County artists support palliative care fund

(From left) Parrsboro artists Krista Wells, Michael Fuller, Anna Hergert and Jill Langford stand with Troy Harrison of Harrison’s Home Hardware. The artists submitted painted Adirondack chairs for the Chair-ity Auction in support of the Cumberland Health Care Foundation’s palliative care fund.

Each year, the Cumberland Health Care Foundation helps dozens of people and their families as they pass through the final moments of their lives.

 Through its palliative care fund, the foundation supports families with travel to appointments, equipment rental such as hospital beds and providing nutritional supplements.

Now a group of Cumberland County artists with support from Rod and Shelley Harrison from Harrison’s Home Hardware have launched a campaign to raise money for palliative care in Cumberland County while also raising awareness of the tremendous talent in the area’s artistic community.

“Shelly and Rod Harrison of Harrison’s approached us with their idea and support and it took off from there,” foundation executive director Gwen Kerr said. “They have been tremendous supporters of the foundation for many years and were very active in the former Garage Guys fundraiser for the Cancer Assistance Fund.

“They’ve remained interested in what we do, particularly programs that help patients directly.”Harrison’s Home Hardware supplied 18 Adirondack chairs as well as all the paint needed for the Adirondack Chair-ity Auction and the artists went to work creating their works of art. With the assistance of Mariner Auctions, which is not taking a seller’s commission, the chairs will be auctioned off on Aug. 31.

“We reached out to the artists and said here’s a blank canvas, do whatever you want. It was entirely up to the artists,” Kerr said. “When we started getting them back, we were amazed at how beautiful they are. Bruce Hebert’s was the first one to come back and it was of a beautiful waterfall. It was gorgeous. It was a sign of what was to come. They’re incredible chairs put together by some incredibly talented artists.”

The chairs are featured on the Mariner Auctions website (marinerauctions.com) with brief descriptions of the participating artists. There is also a blank chair in which the successful bidder can describe to artist Daren White what theme they want the chair to portray.

“Right now it’s a white chair, all primed and ready to go. Whoever wins can tell Daren what they want to see on the chair and he’ll custom paint it. It could be a scene from the cottage or your pet. It could be anything,” Kerr said.

Along with the 17 chairs, Amherst artist Tracy Pittman has contributed a painting of an Adirondack chair on the beach.Shelley Harrison said she and her husband, Rod, have long supported the hospital foundation through Harrison’s Home Hardware.

They were strong supporters of the Garage Guys fundraiser that saw a group of Cumberland County businesses and individuals build a garage to raise money for the Cancer Care Fund.

"We’d seen something similar to the chair auction before and thought that could work here,” Harrison said. “We really believe in what the foundation is trying to do and we want to support anything that helps patients and their families directly.”

Harrison said she’s pretty excited with how the auction is progressing.The auction will continues until Aug. 31 when the bidding closes on a staggered basis throughout the day.

Michael Fuller is just one of several artists working out of the Parrsboro Art Lab. He said he was approached by Troy Harrison of Harrison’s and asked if he and other artists would be interested in participating.

“It didn’t take much to convince us to join in,” Fuller said. “Harrison’s has been such a big supporter of the Art Lab and the local art community. We wanted to do something to help this cause. It’s really a community cause.”

Parrsboro area artists painted seven of the chairs with the remainder coming from Amherst and along the Northumberland Strait.