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Access World News Page 1 of 2 Paper: Darien Times, The (CT) Title: Auction to benefit

Paper: Darien Times, The (CT) Title: Auction to benefit new Darien Library Date: September 28, 2006

"I'm overwhelmed by the response." That was Margot Hand's reaction to having roughly 75 artists, mostly from Darien and Rowayton, agree to participate in the upcoming Darien Library art auction, Quiet Places, Gathering Spaces.

"There are also a lot of painters from other towns who have enthusiastically responded, who want to participate," said Hand, co-chairman of the art auction committee with Peggy Hersam and Karen Elders. "I think the culmination of the cause of the library and finding a good audience has really helped a lot."

Everything from landscapes to still-lifes to abstracts will be included in the invitationonly event slated to kick off with cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and

a silent auction at 6 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Darien Community Association house, the Meadowlands, 274 Middlesex Road. A live auction will follow at 8. All net proceeds will benefit the capital campaign for the new library building.

A painting called "The Great Salt Marsh" by Gayle Asher will be the featured piece. Hand said three people have already inquired about the price

range for the painting. Bob Brennan, head of Darien High School's art department; Chet Saur; Ian Falconer, author and illustrator of the "Olivia" series; Lori Glavin; Peter Arguimbau and Robert Brennan, whom people can also commission to paint a view from the house or a portrait, respectively; and Andrea Bonfils are among the other artists donating recent works to the auction.

Bonfils "wasn't even going to participate until she began thinking about how much she used the library to study art," Hand said. "Then she submitted two paintings."

All of the paintings are currently stored in Norwalk at Westy Storage Centers, which provided free of charge two storage rooms, a 14-foot truck and a driver to transport the paintings to the DCA for the preview night on Oct. 13 that will be open to the public from 6 to 8. The high school art department and the Darien Arts Center are also lending their easels for display of the artwork.

Deemed by Hersam as a "great friend to the cause, Tom Geary of Geary Gallery has been helping the committee with exhibiting, sourcing and pricing materials. Hersam also lauded sponsors Michael Joseph's Catering, Tom McKiernan of Abercrombie Burns McKiernan

See LIBRARY on page 12A

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& Co. Insurance, Geary Gallery, The Darien Times, BMW of Darien, Ladd Financial, Patriot National Bank, Fisher & Fisher Insurance, Chou

Chou, Heights Pizza and Kevin Leary of Leary's Liquor, which is also donating the wine and beer for the event.

"Peggy has been pounding the pavement to get sponsors," Hand said. "We've really touched a lot of elements in the community and have gotten

a lot of people talking about it (the event). As a result, we've been getting a lot of replies for the event. We might be two-thirds of the way there."

The committee created a link on the library's Web site to a page containing the invitation and reply card, both of which can be printed out so people can make a reservation for an event that is the culmination of a year's worth of planning.

"It's been a full-time job since March," Hand said.

The art auction is part of the public portion of the capital campaign that will officially kick off next spring in conjunction with the groundbreaking for the new 54,000 square foot library building boasting a basement, two full floors and a mezzanine that will provide, among other things, plenty of space for its current collection of 180,000 items, an auditorium with tiered seating for 170 people, an expanded reference center, a cafe and art gallery, an enhanced technology department offering small business assistance, computer workstations, smart study rooms and a teen center.

The new library, slated to open September 2008, will be located on the 2.23-acre parcel at the corner of the Post Road and Hecker Avenue.

Donations from individuals, local businesses, corporations and town organizations and foundations are being solicited to help raise $22.5 million of the project's estimated $26 million price tag.

The remaining $3.5 million will be covered by the sale of the existing library building at 35 Leroy Ave.

Since launching in May 2005, the private capital campaign has generated $18.5 million. When this campaign ends in December, the library will seek to get the remainder of the money through the public campaign.

"The auction is certainly going to contribute to the capital campaign," said Louise Berry, executive director of the Darien Library. "It's going to be an exciting evening. This will reach different types of people who like to give in a fun event way."


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She said there will be more chances to donate money for the new library in the future.

"This event is a time to give, but not the only time to give," Berry said. "We want everyone to support us." Caption:

PLANNING AND PERFECTING - Members of the art auction committee, from left, Peggy Hersam, Missey Dweck, Kerrie Kelley, Dina Fay, Margot Hand, Karen Elders, Betsy Martindale and Katharine Wallace, have been hard at work planning the Oct. 14 event, entitled "Quiet Places, Gathering Spaces." All net proceeds will benefit the new Darien Library building. (Darien Times/Susan Chaves photo)

UP FOR BID - Above, watercolor artist Stan Pastore, left, drops off his painting, entitled "On the Line," with Kathleen Stacker, who is receiving the piece for the Darien Library's art auction. Below, Anne Geissinger, left, receives a watercolor painting of Greeen's Ledge Lighthouse from artist Sandra Bacher, right, who submitted the painting to be included in the Darien Library's upcoming art auction.

Copyright, 2006, The Darien Times

Author: Susan Chaves Times Associate Editor Section: News Page: A008 Copyright, 2006, The Darien Times