Fashions, umbrella’s star in Art on the Runway

Gloria Nelson will paint two umbrella’s for the Art on the Runway fashion show and artistic umbrella auction, including this one with a cat theme.

Gloria Nelson will paint two umbrella’s for the Art on the Runway fashion show and artistic umbrella auction, including this one with a cat theme.

This kitty and butterfly adorn one of Gloria Nelson’s umbrella’s for Art on the Runway.

This kitty and butterfly adorn one of Gloria Nelson’s umbrella’s for Art on the Runway.

Pam Broockman chose an unusual theme for her Art on the Runway umbrella: 'It’s Raining Men.”

Pam Broockman chose an unusual theme for her Art on the Runway umbrella: "It’s Raining Men.”

Beautiful pieces of art that come in handy during Spring showers are the focal point of Art on the Runway, a fundraiser for Fine Arts Blount.

More than 22 umbrellas painted by local artists will be auctioned off from 6 to 8 p.m. on May 7 in the Great Hall at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.

“Every umbrella is a work of art that can be put on display or used on a rainy day,” said Gloria Nelson with Fine Arts Blount. She said it is important to FAB to have fundraisers to supplement the grant money they receive to do community activities.

In addition to the auctioning of umbrellas, clothes from Boyd Thomas in Maryville and the Silk Purse in Knoxville will be modeled. Mistress of Ceremony will be Judy Garner of Silk Purse. Door prizes and appetizers prepared by FAB members round out the evening.

“People have a lot of fun at this event,” Nelson said. She said last year’s event was such a success, they expect even more participation this year. According to Nelson, they had 16 umbrellas up for auction and raised more than $1,000. This year, 22 umbrellas have been promised for the auction so far, which will help to raise even more money for the organization.

The funds raised help to purchase art materials for community functions that are not covered by grant money. Activities like Art in the Park, the Kite Festival and Paint in the Park are just some of the community events that benefit from the funds raised from Art on the Runway.

“This is our biggest fundraiser of the year,” said FAB president, Katie Kinney. “It’s fabulous.”

Some of the award-winning FAB artists whose work will be featured on the umbrellas include Gloria Nelson, FAB president Katie Kinney, Lyda Plemmons, Suzanne Stockfish, Pam Broockman, Katie Gamble and Bill Womack, to name a few. Colorful themes of the umbrellas include Singing in the Rain, Dogwoods, Joyful Flight, April Showers and It’s Raining Men featuring Greek mythical gods in clouds.

Nelson said last year she depicted Cades Cove on the umbrella she painted and this year one of the umbrellas she will paint will feature historic Blount County buildings. Nelson’s Cades Cove umbrella brought in the highest dollar last year.

At the 2008 Art on the Runway event, umbrellas were auctioned from $35 and up, according to Nelson. A week before the fundraiser, the umbrellas will be on display at Fine Arts Blount at 106 E. Broadway Ave.

Tickets for Art on the Runway are $25 and are available for purchase at Boyd Thomas Clothing, Blount County Chamber of Commerce, Blount Today or at Fine Arts Blount.

For more information about Art on the Runway or other upcoming FAB events, call 865-982-0898.

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