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WeHa Artists Emporium Spring Art Trail Includes Fundraiser for Ukraine

Sunflower by Denise Balcanoff. Courtesy of WeHa Artists Emporium

The WeHa Artists Emporium’s fifth Art Trail event will include a visit to five locations and a chance to support people in need both in Ukraine and locally.

Artist Julie Phillipps puts the final touches on a sunflower painting. Courtesy photo

By Ronni Newton

The WeHa Artists Emporium’s upcoming Art Trail will be an event celebrating the spring as a season of color and creation, but will also involve the opportunity to help people in need both in Ukraine as well as in the West Hartford community.

The fifth Art Trail, planned for Saturday, April 30, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., will feature the work of 14 local artists, who will display their creations at five different locations all within walking distance of each other in the Morley School area. It’s a chance for artists to meet their patrons in person and to connect with old friends and make new friends.

Participants in a previous WeHa Artists Emporium Art Trail. Courtesy photo

Many of the artists this year are also offering their talents to support a variety of causes.

Sunflowers, which have become a ubiquitous symbol associated with Ukraine and support for its people against Russia, will be featured on many works the sale of which will support World Central Kitchen – an organization that has been feeding refugees in Ukraine and those who have fled to nearby Poland.

Artist Julie Phillipps has created watercolor sunflowers and sunflowers stickers that will be available at the Art Trail in support of World Central Kitchen. “Artists are usually very generous people,” she said. “When we see others in need, we try to use our art to help.”

Sunflower earrings by Linda Gagnon of Quilibet Jewelry. Courtesy image

Blue and yellow sunflower beads have been turned into bracelets and earrings by Linda Gagnon of Quilibet Jewelry, and a portion of the proceeds from sale of those items will be donated to World Central Kitchen.

Sunflower stickers created by artists Denise Balcanoff and Annie Hayami will raise funds for the Project Hope and the Red Cross in Ukraine, respectively.

Participants are also invited to drop off non-perishable food items at the Art Trail stop at 35 North Quaker Lane, and those who donate three or more items will receive a free lemonade or coffee from the bake sale fundraiser that will be held at that location – where work by Stefanie Marco of Kindspin Design, Christy Corey, Kerri Michaud-Bagley of Heart Stone Gallery, and Rachel Shuler of Mountain Tree Studios will be on display.

“We’ve been doing this bake sale for years,” said Marco, a founder of the WeHa Artists Emporium. “It started because we wanted to teach our kids to give back to the community.”

A participant checks out some items for sale during the October 2021 WeHa Artists Emporium Art Trail. Courtesy photo

Other stops on the Art Trail. include 23 Farnham Road, where Phillipps and Amy Casazza will have their work on display. Annie Hayami Art and Quilibet Jewelry will be available at 111 Foxcroft Avenue, and at 45 Grisold Drive patrons will find work by Monica Boeckmann Whalen of The House She Loved, Samantha Barnard of Barnard Home Crafters, and Balcanoff of Soulful Creations.

Elizabeth Hanlon of Elizadolittletoday Photography, Shannon Mastrangelo of Hello Alice, Phil Dube of the WEHA Candle Company, and artist Kimberly Heil will have their work on display at 70 Ballard Drive.

Map of WeHa Artists Emporium Spring Art Trail

The WeHa Artists Emporium’s Art Trail is an outdoor event and the group is asking visitors to exercise courteous COVID-19 behaviors, including wearing a mask if necessary or desired, disinfecting their hands regularly, and maintaining safe distances. In case of rain the Art Trail will be held on Sunday, May 1, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Courtesy of WeHa Artists Emporium

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