Susan Adams of the Southern Heartland Art Guild displays a gift basket that will be raffled off at the Guild’s annual Monte Carlo for the Arts fundraiser at Georgia Piedmont Technical College on Feb. 8. (Staff Photo: Karen Rohr)
On Fridays in the early afternoon, any adult can stop into the Southern Heartland Art Guild at the corner of Monticello and Washington streets on the Square in Covington and paint for free. No charge for materials. No charge for instruction. No charge for using the space.
Plenty of adults take advantage of this service to the community, especially senior citizens, said Susan Wahl, member of the Art Guild, a nonprofit visual arts group.
“To see people who maybe have never touched a paintbrush in their lives, it’s so rewarding,” Wahl said.
The free painting session is just a fraction of what the Art Guild offers. Weekday art classes for children and adults, Saturday art workshops, painting programs, an art gallery open to the public, a statewide art exhibit and summer art camps for kids round out the programs available at the Guild.
“That’s what I get out of this, it’s just watching how we impact the community,” said Wahl, a watercolor painter.
This time of year, the Art Guild is appealing to the community for their assistance in keeping operations going. The Art Guild presents its only fundraiser of the year, Monte Carlo for the Arts, on Feb. 8 at 5:30 p.m. at Georgia Piedmont Technical College, 8100 Bob Williams Parkway in Covington.
Tickets are $50 and include a full course dinner prepared by Stalvey’s Saloon and Catering, door prizes, a reverse raffle, auctions and casino gaming.
Live auction items include several vacations, such as a week in a house located steps from the beach near Carrabelle, Fla., a weekend in a mountain view bed and breakfast cabin located on a mile high cliff in Beech Mountain, N.C., and a four-night stay in a log cabin in Sautee, Ga.
Other auction items include artistically decorated furniture, art, handmade jewelry and a University of Georgia Bulldogs toy box.
If you’re not interested in the auction, you could take your chances in the reverse raffle, in which there is a one in five chance of winning either a cash prize or gift certificate or gift basket. The grand prize for the raffle is $3,500.
Major sponsors for the event include United Bank, the Covington-based Air Conditioning Specialist and Stalvey’s restaurant.
Wahl said this is the second year the Art Guild has held the fundraiser at GPTC; prior to 2013, the group held the event at Porterdale Mill Lofts but found the space became too small for the number of people attending.
The nonprofit Art Guild receives no government funding and relies completely on donations from individuals and businesses. Wahl said the purpose of the fundraiser is to cover basic operating costs including about $10,000 for the classroom space and $3,600 for the utilities.
With one part-time employee, the Southern Heartland Art Guild runs on volunteer power, Wahl said.
“Most art guilds have a paid director. We just have a bunch of dedicated hard-working volunteers,” she said.
The Art Guild began in 1988 and met in members’ houses before procuring a permanent location on the Square. Group membership now stands at about 200, some of whom pay a fee to show and sell their work in the Art Guild Gallery.
To reserve tickets for the Southern Heartland Art Guild Monte Carlo for the Arts event, call the Art Guild and Gallery at 770-788-8799 by Jan. 29. To learn more, visit www.southernheartlandart.com.