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Friends of Forbes Library fundraiser takes artistic turn

— When the Friends of Forbes Library learned that it would not be able to host its traditional wine-taster as a fundraiser because of changes in the law, Martha McCormick, president of the group, suggested an art show.

This Wednesday, the Friends will hold a silent auction featuring recycled and repurposed artwork from area artists — all of which has by donated by the artists.McCormick, who taught art at Northampton High School for 30 years before retiring this year, contributed many of her own pieces.

The auction will include a broad range of artwork. “We have everything from furniture to jewelry to wearable art,” said McCormick. The common theme that connects all of the art is that each piece is made from recycled materials or repurposed objects.

The artwork is currently on display at Forbes Library and on the Friends page of the Forbes website. The auction will be held in the Coolidge Museum in Forbes Library from 7-9 p.m.

Friends of Forbes, which was founded over 30 years ago, is an independent, nonprofit organization that supports the library. They hold several fundraising events throughout the year, including a garden tour in the spring and gift basket raffles.

The funding goes to “a lot of things that are very important to the library that there just wouldn’t be money for unless we did this,” said McCormick.

The group’s work helps special programs for children and adolescents and the outreach car—which brings library materials to people who don’t have access to the library—according to McCormick. She said they also make periodic donations to the library book and media funds.

The Friends hope to see 150 people at the silent auction, dubbed “Silent Cal’s Silent Auction” in honor of President Calvin Coolidge, who was nicknamed Silent Cal. Although McCormick hesitated to estimate how much the auction will raise, since this is the first time the Friends have held it, she said that the event costs are low so it is sure to make money.

In addition to the artwork, which was all donated, light food will be provided by River Valley Market.

Northampton based musician Peter Blanchette will be performing, and he will donate half the proceeds from sales of his CDs to the Friends.

McCormick was thrilled by the support they have received with the auction. “I find that people are just so generous,” she said.

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