On its surface, a fundraiser for Mountain Middle School called The Art of Wine might raise an eyebrow or two. But remember its for the kids, not by the kids.
This ones a bit different. The art auction and catered wine tasting will be held at the Main Mall. The art itself is well outside the norm. Up for auction will be two paintings by the Rev. Bruno Segatta and four Sutcliffe Vineyards wine barrels adorned by local artists Bryan Saren, Grace Kruse, Brenda Macon and eighth-graders Connor Whitesell and Bryce Gordon.
The nonprofit Friends of Mountain Middle School timed the event to coincide with the Durango Showcase of the Arts.
Lynn Galati and Martin R. Cagan donated the two Segatta pieces to the event after moving to Durango from California. Segatta was an instructor for 25 years at Gonzaga Universitys campus in Florence, Italy. The donated pieces have an estimated value of $7,000.
These were perfect in our large California old-world-style home, but not so much in our Durango home, Galati said. Even though I love them and had a hard time parting with them, I wanted to see them go to someone who can enjoy them in their home. They were not meant to be boxed up and stored away.
Connors parents, Lorie and Al Whitesell, bought and donated the 60-gallon oak wine barrels. Each artist added his or her own personal flair. Saren is a sculptor and metal artist, Kruse is a glass artist and Macon is an oil-painting instructor. Add in the unpredictability of the young artists, and its hard to guess what to expect from the barrel art. But the early reviews are more than promising, and theres surely nothing to be found like it in the region.
All proceeds benefit Mountain Middle Schools building renovation. The school is a free, public state-chartered middle school that opened in August in north Durango. It has 168 students.