Jules Hirschkorn and his oil on canvas abstract auctioned Thursday, June 17, at an event for the Boys and Girls Club of Salem Marion and Polk Counties.(Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Art is a form of expression encouraged at the Boys & Girls Club of Salem, Marion and Polk Counties. New or undiscovered talent is explored and celebrated at the clubhouse and now in the community. 

The club held Art Pour Enfants: A Fine Art Auction outside Illahe Country Club on Thursday, June 17. Guests could bid both in person and online.

Dozens of creative pieces were auctioned, including original works from invited local artists and students.

 Guests could even acquire a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, signed by author Eric Carle. In addition, Jodi Loper, the club’s senior health and dental services director, and Meghan Udlock, certified dental assistant, helped sell stars painted by children in the club.

AmeriTitle was the main event sponsor, and the evening was supported by Capitol Auto Group, Lighthouse Home Loans, attorney Ryan Collier and Dewey and Dave Whitton of Salem Real Estate Group. Collier and Dewey Whitton acted as emcees, promoting the artists and telling their stories.

Therese Misner explained the inspiration for her piece Mystic Pointe. Peter DeMuniz succeeded in winning the work after a bidding war with Mary Eastridge, who attended remotely.

Jules Hirschkorn said he wrestled with getting the oil just right on his 48x36” untitled piece. The abstract garnered the highest bid at the auction by Eric Fiskum.

Executive Director Sue Bloom shared stories about how attendees help young people through their donations.

Event coordinator Hailie Peplinski reported the event raised a little over $20,000.

The local Boys & Girls Club is a nonprofit that operates eight clubhouses, sports teams, and teen centers in addition to a Health and Dental Services Center.

Currently, they serve over 15,000 youth, many from economically disadvantaged homes, qualify for free or reduced lunch, and live in single-parent households.

 Learn more at bgc-salem.org or call 503-581-7383.

Ryan Coller, Jule Hirschkorn, Dewey and Dave Whitton at the auction on Thursday, June 17, for the Boys and Girls Club of Salem Marion and Polk Counties.(Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)\

Therese Misner and her piece Mystic Pointe, which was auctioned on Thursday, June 17, at an event for the Boys and Girls Club of Salem Marion and Polk Counties.(Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Jody Beck, owner of The Maze, and BettyAnn Prior of Ames Research attend the auction on Thursday, June 17, for the Boys and Girls Club of Salem Marion and Polk Counties with Forest, the Jack Russell terrier puppy. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Eric Templeton of AmeriTitle, one of the sponsors of the auction Thursday, June 17, for the Boys and Girls Club of Salem Marion and Polk Counties, addresses the bidders and artists. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Mary Louise VanNatta is a Salem public relations professional writing regularly for Salem Reporter. Reach her at mlvg@prsalem.com and follow her on Facebook.

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