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Art auction benefits watershed association

| Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 9:02 p.m.
Sean Stipp | Trib Total Media
Wink Knowles, president of the board and Pat Slack, board secretary, prepare items to be auctioned to benefit the Loyalhanna Watershed Association.
Sean Stipp | Trib Total Media
A carved hiking staff to be auctioned at the 29th annual Art Auction Benefit for the Loyalhanna Watershed Association.
Sean Stipp | Trib Total Media
Pat Slack prepares items for the Sept. 28 auction.

When the Loyalhanna Watershed Association's 29th art auction benefit opens its doors on Sept. 28, it will feature several artists from the Ligonier area.

Artists Rita Kambic Haldeman, Ron Donoughe and Bud Gibbons will be creating quick draw paintings during the event. These pieces will also be part of the art auction.

“This is our major fundraiser for the Loyalhanna Watershed Association,” said Pat Slack the chairwoman for the event. “We will feature 30 pieces in the auction this year.”

There will be a silent auction and a live auction led by Gene Kravits, artist and owner of Truffles Antiques in Laughlintown.

“All of the artwork highlights the local environment and reflects the beauty of our local area,” said Slack, who is also the association's board secretary.

Wink Knowles, the board's president, has been involved in the auction for six years.

“It exemplifies our wildlife,” said Knowles. “It helps us get out the message about how important it is to preserve what we have, conserve what we have and restore what we can.”

Items in the auction include several oils on canvas, etchings, acrylics on canvas, watercolors, bronze statues, jewelry, pottery, wood carvings and photography.

Six artists, who display artwork in local galleries, are participating in the auction including Dawn Brown and Rachel Hunt Knowles - G Squared Gallery; William M. Hoffman Jr. -Hoffman Studio; Cheryl Robertson - Ligonier's Loft; Paul Sirofchuck - Main Exhibit Gallery; and Stuart Thompson - Thompson Studio.

The auction will include a opportunity to bid on two nature walks led by board members, a private tour of Falling Water and a bird watching outing.

The auction will also feature a youth art competition. The contest is open to all students residing within the Latrobe, Derry and Ligonier Valley school districts. A junior-level competition includes students entering grades 7 and 8 and the high school-level is for students entering grade 9 through 12. Participants must create an original work of art using media that reflects a theme of natural restoration and renewal. For more information, call 724-238-7560.

“We will present cash awards to students and give them an opportunity to bring their drawings of nature art to be viewed by the professional artists,” said Slack.

The quick draw and silent auction will begin at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. and the live auction at 8:30 p.m. For reservation information about the art auction benefit, which will be held at a private club in Laughlintown, call 724-238-7560.