Summer Art Social raises $200,000 for grant programs

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Jennifer Li of Kalispell was one of 15 artists who did a demonstration of her work June 25 during the Summer Art Social. (Courtesy photo)

The Summer Art Social held at the Iron Horse Golf Club June 25 was a success setting a new record for art sales that will help two community grant programs.

Just over $200,000 was recorded in sales during the ninth annual charity event, which is a partnership between the Iron Horse Foundation and the Whitefish Community Foundation. About 285 people attended the event.

Thirty-two local, regional and national artists were represented at the show, which included a live and silent auction. New this year was a selection of works by current or former residents of the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts.

Art proceeds are split 50/50 between the participating artists and the benefit, and many works of art sold for more than reserve. Most of the new and repeat artists claim it is their favorite art show due to the beautiful venue, gracious hosts, and the art patrons that attend the event, according to the community foundation.

Proceeds raised from the charity event support the community grant programs of both foundations.

The Iron Horse Foundation supports local youth education and recreation opportunities, including the new Center for Sustainability and Entrepreneurship at Whitefish High School and the Backpack Assistance program that supplies the annual holiday food bags for students in need over the holiday break.

The Whitefish Community Foundation offers an annual Community Grant Program, Major Grant Program, emergency grants to nonprofits, and the Great Fish Challenge that raised over $1.4 million in 2016 for 40 local charities.

The partnership between the two Foundations began in 2009 when the Iron Horse Foundation became a fund at the Whitefish Community Foundation. The social is an annual event for donors of the Whitefish Community Foundation and members of the Iron Horse Golf Club.

While net proceeds from the event have grown over the years, the show has remained a relatively small invitational art show promoting local, regional, and national artists. For more information about the Whitefish Community Foundation visit www.whitefishcommunityfoundation.org.

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