Local News

Foundation raising funds with fans

Creations sold to benefit future art students, 4/23/03, 

It could have been a bake sale or a carwash, but one local foundation went for a different fund-raising idea: fans.

Painted fans, quilted fans, small fans, big fans, gaudy fans, demure fans, stained-glass fans

These works are being created by local artists, celebrities and Transition House kids and will be sold to fund art scholarships.

"It's a different kind of art form than what's normally exhibited," said Marie Profant, heading up the project to benefit the foundation created in memory of her late father -- the John E. Profant Foundation for the Arts, which offers scholarships in art, dance, music, theater and literature.

The finest of the creations will be displayed in the window of Saks Fifth Avenue, 1001 State St., at the end of July before being auctioned or sold. Some of the less fragile fans may be waved in August's Fiesta finale.  "We wanted to involve the visual arts as well as performers," Ms. Profant said.

On Tuesday, a gaggle of artists gathered at Art from Scrap to root around in the center's collection of donated material that would otherwise have been destined for the landfill.

There, among the barrels of film cannisters, fabric off-cuts, electrical wire, skate-wheel shavings, plastic ivy leaves, foam scraps, plastic lids and lots of curious bits and pieces of unknown origin, lay the inspiration for many a fanciful fan.

"Everybody does something so different," said Hedy Price Paley, clutching some black trim, a scrap of purple fabric and a handful of colored plastic rods she planned to incorporate in her piece. "It's going to be fun to see everyone's fans when they're finished."

Five-year-old Malia Profant-Jungeret had already completed one fan Tuesday -- a black-and-purple creation adorned with rounds of green plastic, fake flowers and tiny Minnie Mouse stickers. 

Yes, she said, she'd be willing to sell her fan. "For $60."

"They love it here," said Art from Scrap director Cay Sanchez as artists sifted through buckets and bins for inspiration for their fans. "They look around, 'Oh, all this stuff would have been buried in a landfill.''

The center -- a program of the Community Environmental Council -- gathers materials from local businesses and individuals, "materials they'd normally throw out," Ms. Sanchez said.

They sell some of their collection and also run art programs that offer kids and adults a creative form of waste reduction.

"It's their hands-on way to do a reuse project," Ms. Sanchez said.
But the fund-raising fans don't have to be made of scrap materials.

Anything goes.  Patricia Carlson is sticking with her favored craft, creating a stained-glass fan -- a red, green and white creation blooming from a rose.  "The colors remind me of the fiesta colors," she said.

For more information on the Fan Project, log on to www.profant.org or call 682-8184.