Fifteen years ago, Birdsboro resident Eloise Roecker started a fine arts show in Birdsboro to raise needed funds for the Birdsboro Community Memorial Center.A decade and a half later, it's still going, raising money not only for the community center, but also the Daniel Boone Community Library and the Daniel Boone School District art departments in grades K-12. The proceeds also fund scholarships for graduating Daniel Boone seniors who attend college and major in art.
Over the last 14 years, more than $200,000 has been raised through the show.
"We started out with 42 artists the first year. Now we have over 100," said Roecker on Saturday, Oct. 13-day one of this year's exhibition.
Each year, Roecker begins preparing for the show in January.
"Artists submit their work and we review what we need and what we want to add," she said.
Artists come from as far as Delaware and Maryland to participate in the show, but most are from the tri-county area. New this year were hammered copper works by Reggie Farmer. Last year, the offerings expanded to include felted wool handbags by Christine Mellinger, which were on display again in 2007. Although quilts have been featured before, this year the show broke away from the traditional quilts to feature one-of-a-kind artisan quilts by Linda Hall.
The year's show also featured a book signing and interactive exhibits with some of the artists. Reading area writer and illustrator Carol J. Haile was on hand to sign her newest book, "Elephant Overboard," and her other works: "The Christmas Story," "A Dream Vacation" and "The Princess Tree."
Artist Paulette Hanson did a hands-on demonstration of her craft-hand-painted, French dyed silk.
Janie Peters displayed her jewelry making techniques.
One of the exhibiting artists each year is selected by Roecker chooses to create the show's annual poster. This year, it was abstract painter Peggy Reisch.
When it comes down to setting up for the show, Roecker relies on a core group of seven volunteers who get all the work hung in just two days-an amazing feat compared to other shows she's seen that take a full week to hang. With the show growing each year, Eloise looks forward to having a co-chair for the event in 2008.