‘Art With Heart’ Auction Raises Money For Women’s Shelter

John Keller, vice-president of the Town Clock board, conducts the art auction at Sophie’s Bistro.

More than three dozen pieces of art and jewelry were up for auction March 31 to benefit a local women’s shelter.

The event, “Art With Heart,” was held at Sophie’s Bistro on Hamilton Street. The money raised will benefit Dina’s Dwelling, a project of the Town Clock Community Development Corp.

Dina’s Dwelling is comprised of 10-units of long-term housing located in part of the First Reformed Church in New Brunswick. The  housing is subsidized, said Town Clock executive director Susan Kramer-Mills, with women paying 30 percent of their income to stay there.

“If they have no income, they pay zero,” she said.

Events such as the art auction help to offset costs associated with the housing, Kramer-Mills said.

Among the pieces up for auction, all of which were donated, were paintings, sculptures and jewelry.

Some of the paintings were donated from personal collections, Kramer-Mills said. Others were donated by area artists.

“I have a friend who actually donated a weaving,” she said.

Kramer-Mills said a total of 40 pieces were being offered.

This was the auction’s third year, but the first time it was held at Sophie’s, Kramer-Mills said.

“The first one we had was more of a sale,” she said. “That was in First Reformed Church.”

“Last year we did it at Pino’s (in Highland park),” she said. “This year was with Sophie’s. Sophie’s Bistro has been very generous to us. They’ve helped us organize donations and things usually around the holiday season.”

Dan Pencak, one of Sophie’s managers, said the restaurant was happy to help out the organization.

“We did this because Dina’s Dwelling is a great cause and we thought this would be an awesome thing to do,” he said. “We do a collection on the holidays of toiletries sand such. This year the response was overwhelming.”

“They approached us about doing the art show here this year, and we said yes,” Pencak said. “We have a perfect space.”

Kramer-Mills said the event has generated increased donations each year.

“The first time was about $5,000, the second time was close to $7,000,” she said. “I’m hoping this year about $8,000.”


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