“It’s too perfect,” says Mainstay Supportive Housing & Home Care, Inc.’s President and CEO Larry Oaks. “While all non-profits focus on growth and fundraising in order to serve their communities, we get to do both with this event and use the slogan ‘Come Grow With Us’ without fear of being corny, though actual corn would fit right in with this campaign,” he adds with a laugh.
The event is Mainstay’s You-Make-A-Difference Hybrid Cocktail Party and Online Art Auction, to be held Thursday, October 6 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at Boston’s legendary Lenox Hotel at 61 Exeter Street. The online auction will open at noon on Thursday, September 29 and close at 8:00pm on Thursday, October 6, during the party.
“With this special night, we are raising money to outfit as many of our twenty sites across Massachusetts with garden beds, so that our residents can grow and then eat their own vegetables and herbs, like our two houses in Norwood have already,” Oaks adds enthusiastically.
In June, Mainstay, in collaboration with the non-profit Backyard Growers in Oaks’s native Gloucester, installed two garden beds that have been producing, among other things, fresh tomatoes, zucchini, and parsley all summer long.
It is from Gloucester’s home on Cape Ann that a number of the auction’s artists and art donors come, like the world-renowned Jon Sarkin, as well as local favorites such as Colleen Apostolos and Loren Doucette, who is known for her vibrant and stunning paintings.
“I am so grateful to donate my gouache paintings loosely depicting the Cape Ann landscape and to be part of this auction supporting such an important cause,” Doucette remarks. “Mainstay is so vital in addressing the need in our community to help neurodivergent people find housing and support to live independently.”
David Dickinson, professional artist from Northampton who taught at Deerfield Academy for many years, is donating two works. “These works are different from my usual landscapes and illustrations,” Dickinson says. “I used the isolation of the past several years to experiment with new techniques. I am pleased to make my donation for this worthy cause.”
Not only will the auction feature around two dozen works by established artists, but new art from some not-so-famous ones, as well, namely Mainstay residents and staff.
“Art is a great way for our residents to express themselves,” says Avanelle Martin, Mainstay’s Director of Human Resources. “We’re so happy to be able to offer them this creative outlet while celebrating them publicly.”
Their work and the rest of the roster can be viewed when the auction starts at 12:00 PM on September 29 at www.MainstayLiving.org. The auction closes at 8:00 PM on Thursday, October 6.
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Mainstay provides human service and housing programs across Massachusetts, including permanent supportive housing and compassionate, person-centered home care. Our programs help hundreds of people live productive and stable lives in their own communities every day. Mainstay was founded in 1975 to provide services to people with mental illness, and our mandate has since expanded to cover a variety of vulnerable populations, including low-income elders; people with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities; and the recently homeless.