Chamber will do palette project again next year

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 November 2013 at 12:00 am

Public arts project raised $1,250 for art scholarships

Photo by Tom Rivers – Artist Christy Valsente, an employee at Arnold’s Auto Parts in Albion, created this palette that was displayed at Arnold’s as part of the Palettes of Orleans.

ALBION – In May, they started popping up in businesses around Orleans County, colorful paintings of local scenes and other subjects.

Kathy Blackburn, director of the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce, hoped to have maybe 20 or 30 of the paintings displayed in businesses as part of a public arts trail that would promote merchants and local artists while raising money for art scholarships.

The businesses and artists surpassed Blackburn’s expectations. About 70 of the paintings were displayed. They were auctioned off last month during an event at Hickory Ridge Country Club.

The project raised $1,250 for scholarships with $250 going to each school district – Albion, Holley, Kendall, Lyndonville and Medina.

“It created a lot of buzz in the county,” Blackburn said.

She already is working on the second edition of the Palettes of Orleans in 2014, but there will be some changes.

Blackburn would like to get the palettes to artists early next year so they can work on their paintings with the goal to have them all unveiled at the same time, a July 1 target date.

This year, the palettes were put up whenever artists could finish them, with some done in May and others as late as September and early October. About 40 artists donated their services for the project.

Blackburn believes the Palettes proved a showcase for the local artists, giving them more exposure.

“Who knew we had this much talent in Orleans County?” she said.

The Chamber plans to have a fall auction again in 2014 so bidders can purchase the artwork and meet the artists with some of the proceeds going to art scholarships.