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Florence civic group raffles historic print from silk company

With $10 and a little luck, people will have a chance to obtain a piece of Florence history, support the Civic and Business Association and honor one of the town’s favorite shopkeepers.

The business association is raffling off nine prints featuring the original Corticelli Silk Company logo, a kitten playing with a spool, surrounded by moths and silkworms.

The original was acquired by the civic group for its history collection in honor of Cary Clark, the longtime co-owner of Florence Village Flowers and former vice president of the association, who died in February at the age of 56.

A limited run of 25 prints was produced from that original. A sample is on display at the flower shop.

Clark’s son, Jason, said he and his family got wind of the original work being auctioned off last spring and, with the civic association’s blessing, bought it.

Jason Clark wouldn’t specify how much the oil on silk painting went for, except to say it was “pretty pricey.”

Clark said the association rarely uses funds for outside purposes, but it felt in this case it would be appropriate. He expects the proceeds from the raffle will recoup some of the cost of purchasing the original, which stands about 5 feet tall and will be on permanent display in the Florence History Museum. The museum is housed in the Civic Center.

Clark said the transfer from 5-foot painting to more manageable 18-by-24-inch prints was handled by Pivot Media of Florence.

Clark said the fate of the 16 prints that will remain after the raffle hasn’t been decided, but they may be available at a later date through another raffle or similar event.

In addition to helping run the flower shop, Cary Clark was heavily involved in many civic activities in Florence. He volunteered with the holiday lighting committee, the annual chicken barbecue, the antique show and the rag shag parade.

Raffle tickets can be purchased at Florence Village Flowers, Florence Barber Shop and the Florence branch of Northampton Cooperative Bank. Winners will be drawn Dec. 15.


Noted author to appear

Author Jane Yolen has one piece of advice for parents who hope to get closer to their children.

Work with them.

Yolen will be making an appearance with her daughter, Heidi Yolen Stemple, at the World Eye Bookshop in Florence this weekend. The two have collaborated on various writing projects.

The author of numerous children’s books, Yolen said working with her own children has made their relationships stronger.

“It’s joyful,” she said.

“It expands the connection between you and your child, it’s cheaper than just handing them money, and it lets you know that they’re talented,” she said.

In addition to her daughter, Yolen said she also collaborates with her other two children, Adam, a writer, and Jason, a photographer.

That kind of close working relationship with one’s children often brings criticism that the younger family member’s work doesn’t stand on its own and only sees the light of day due to the successful parent, a criticism Yolen dismisses.

“Nepotism only gets you a personal rejection letter,” she said.

Yolen said she and her family have had a long-standing relationship with World Eye at its original location in Greenfield and she was excited to be one of the first featured authors to do a reading and signing in Florence.

She said World Eye “has always been very responsive to local writers and illustrators, and so easy to work with.”

Yolen said the latest collaboration between her and her daughter has produced a book of essays about “bad girls” in history, like Bonnie Parker of “Bonnie and Clyde” fame, “Ma” Barker, matriarch of a notorious Prohibition-era gang, and pirate Anne Bonney, to name a few.

The essays are geared toward younger readers and each ends with a brief cartoon featuring the two authors debating exactly how “bad” each of their subjects really was.

Yolen and Stemple will be at the World Eye Bookshop on Main Street in Florence from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

To submit items for Around Florence, email bdunn@gazettenet.com.

Legacy Comments3

For photo ordering problems, call main switchboard at the Gazette 584-5000, push 0 for operator and talk with Nancy.

Would like to purchase a couple of prints. Having a problem with web site. Please advise.

looking good !

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