MERIDEN — As a way to raise awareness and funds, Gallery 53 is currently hosting an art exhibit and auction.
For the Animal and the Arts Auction, Gallery 53 partnered up with the Meriden Humane Society. The online auction features original artwork by local artists.
Rick Grondin, a Meriden native and employee at A-1 Services, Inc, donated two metal daffodil sculptures, both more than 5 feet tall.
“I saw a Facebook post where he was saying ‘I just made this really cool daffodil. What should I do with it? I’m thinking of donating it to a nonprofit,’” said Rosemary Devlin, a volunteer that runs Gallery 53’s website and social media. “Anyway, he was asking people for suggestions. Two of the names that came up were Gallery 53 and Meriden Humane Society. He decided he would make two daffodils and donate one to each.”
Along with the two daffodils, the auction also includes a stained-glass mosaic created by Christine Webster, Gallery 53 president, and other local artists. The mosaic displays nine yellow, orange and white daffodils.
“It’s beautiful,” Devlin said. “It’s got a lot of mirror pieces in it so it really sparkles in the sun.”
By teaming up, both Gallery 53 and the Meriden Humane Society hope to help raise awareness
“I really hope that it raises awareness for both of our causes and for some of the great work being done in Meriden, both to support animals and to support the arts because I think that we have some wonderful resources locally,” said Karen Annis, a board member and volunteer at the Meriden Humane Society.
While the Animals and the Arts Auction will end on July 4, Gallery 53 is continuing its current art exhibit until July 24.
This exhibit includes over 100 original pieces of art made by Irma Morse, a prominent Meriden artist, businesswoman and a former president of the Arts and Crafts Association of Meriden.
“Her work is in oil, watercolor, pastel, mainly,” Devlin said. “She did a lot of seascapes, in particular, and landscapes as well as some still life.”
Morse, who died at 92 in 2000, also had a major impact on the purchase of Gallery 53’s current building at 53 Colony St.
The exhibit was organized by Morse’s two daughters. It benefits the Irma Morse Scholarship Fund and Gallery 53.
Morse’s artwork is valued between $50 and $400, according to Devlin.
“I think there’s at least 100 pieces there. Some of them are unframed, just sketches, some of them are matted,” Devlin said. “There’s a good number of them that are beautifully framed. There’s several in particular that won awards locally and regionally.”
Gallery 53 is now open during regular hours.
“We’re gradually reopening,” Devlin said. “People have been filtering back in the store … Everybody is sort of poking their heads out and getting reacquainted.”