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Giving back 'True-Texas Turquoise Style'

Special to the Courier

Administrators at the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic remind everyone that a few tickets are still available for the Melissa Benge Turquoise Ball, set for Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Mansfield Park Show Barn, located off Highway 16 North. Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic building expansion.
Kicking off at 6:30 pm, this Texas-size event promises a night of fine dining New Mexico style and Western Swing dancing to the fiddle music of Grammy winner Bobby Flores and the Yellow Rose Band. Live and silent auction are on tap throughout the evening. To help raise needed funds for the clinic, a juried art show will feature original artwork donated by local and national artists. "We'll offer everything from beautiful one-of-a-kind turquoise necklaces and handcrafted purses, belts and boots to museum quality paintings and sculptures," explained Benge. "All submissions have a turquoise flair or natural, warm elements like leather or antler art. These items will be in all price ranges."
"Although time and space doesn't permit us to mention all contributing artists, we would like to showcase several who have donated works to the Turquoise Ball," said K. Irene Stone, clinic executive director.
Bandera artist Anita Smith submitted an original pastel still life. Painting since 1972, her favorite medium is pastels applied in layers on sanded paper to achieve a richness and depth of color. Smith's original artwork is exhibited at the River Edge Gallery in Kerrville and at Bandera's Hill Country Embroidery. "Anita has donated 'Pot of Gold' to our silent auction," said Stone. "With its beautiful use of the color turquoise, we have truly 'struck gold'!"
A resident of Bandera since 1998, Dave Chandler of Dry Bones Metal Art is strongly influences by Texas and its creatures - both indigenous and transplanted - from bugs to emus. A transmission specialist, Chandler often finds himself staring at metal auto parts and imagining how they might come to life if incorporated into a metal sculpture. For his work, he references Ezekiel 17:3-7 for his work, "... He asked me, 'Son of man, can these bones live?' And I replied, 'O Sovereign Lord, only You know'."
Hinting at the subject of Chandler's Turquoise Ball submission, Stone only commented, "Let's just say it is one of God's beloved 'armored' creatures."
Helping Hand Executive Director Jesse Parks and Laura White, thrift store manager, each donated a piece of their personal art for the event.
Parks is renowned for creating unique and beautiful paintings on feathers. This summer, a little girl gave Jesse a turquoise feather from her parrot as a "thank you" for a summer camp scholarship. After discovering Parks intended to use the beautiful feather in a commissioned painting to help the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic, the girl was excited that her little gift could be used to benefit so many, according to Stone. She added, "This is a wonderful example of how giving begets giving."
Glass artist White was inspired to utilize turquoise glass to create two pieces of functional art, a sushi dish and an olive dish, for the Turquoise Ball. In the multi-stepped glass-making process, each piece requires 12-hour firings in a kiln to ensure smooth edges. White's glass pieces are both beautiful and functional works of art. "Setting the table has never been such fun than with these unique dishes," said Stone.
Attorney and artist Carole K. Boyd, a well-known digital fine artist, is committed to making digital painting "universally accepted and coveted as 'fine art'." Using a mouse as a brush, Boyd starts with from a blank computer screen and utilizes a rich palette of colors to create finished compositions ranging from surrealism to realism, impressionism to illustrations and even fine line drawing.
Since Boyd creates only a single signed canvas original of each painting, a collector is ensured unique and more valuable painting. Boyd's donations to the Turquoise Ball include "Time Stood Still," a painting of the Bandera County Courthouse. "Once you see it," Stone said, "time will stand still for you, too!"
According to Stone, over $1,800 worth of Southwest Native American jewelry will also be raffled off at the Turquoise Ball. All one-of-a-kind pieces were specifically purchased using funds collected from the Indian Trails Travelers, who recently returned from a pueblo tour of New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado.
As Stone explained, "They made it their mission to find and collect authentic Native American jewelry for the Turquoise Ball. That's what you call a 'Mission Possible'!"
Tickets are $100 for individual tickets, $1,000 for tables, $200 for VIP individual tickets and $1,500 for VIP tables. To purchase tickets, visit www.TurquoiseBall.com or stop by the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic, 1116 12th Street. Phone number is 830-796-3448. Tickets are also available at Gunslinger and Graceful on Cypress Street.
"All proceeds from the Melissa Benge Turquoise Ball will benefit the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic expansion project," Stone said. "Let's give back in 'true Texas turquoise style' like these artists and collectors did!"