Spring Into The Arts

A great time was had by all as we celebrated another Evening with the Arts at Wagon Wheelers Hall on March 22. The theme for this year’s event was Spring Into The Arts. Considering the long and nasty winter, folks were eager to get out of the house and party.

Setting the perfect mood with music over the decades and a focus on Motown were Columbus pied piper Arnett Howard and friends Bob Davis and Mike Roberts. Even our own Josh Willett grabbed his blue trumpet and joined the men for a couple of songs. Toward the end of the evening, it proved impossible to keep folks in their seats with Arnett weaving such musical magic. The Auctioneer’s area turned into a Dance Floor. Thanks to Arnett for making this evening so special. Of course, big thanks go to Dr. Jill Neff, of Hometown Pediatric Care, whose generosity made this performance possible.

Thanks also go to Seth Michael who graciously donated his time and talents to conduct the Art Auction. We were thrilled to find so many wonderful pieces in a wide variety of media snapped up by our friends.

A tip of our collective hats to these dazzling artists for their donations:

  • Mary Ann Allard: hand turned bowl
  • Susie Blanton: Colored Pencil of her daughter leaping from one big round hay bale to another
  • J. R. Bradley: inlaid wooden box with drawer and an Intarsia Nativity
  • Paul Brown: oil painting of a Cactus Rose, his mother’s favorite plant
  • Al Burger: watercolor with pen & ink of a pink chair filled with flowers
  • Roger Chapin: Still Life pastel in pointillism
  • Kit Dailey: acrylic painting along a south seas shore
  • Bob Eisnaugle: highly glazed ceramic abstract showing the Fletchen Benton influence
  • Beth Frazee: delicately carved jewelry set of soft pink dogwood
  • the late Byron Kohn, thanks to dear Millie Kohn: a watercolor of startling clarity of Devil’s Canyon
  • Molly Markley: an origami bird that took flight in her imagination
  • Phyllis Michael: an oil painting of tulips sitting on a lace covered table
  • Jill Neff: a hand knit shawl of cashmere and silk with Murano glass beads
  • Evelyn Pierson: watercolor of a sweet trio of trespassing hens in a barnyard
  • Debra and Chuck Shumate: a triumph in stained glass: a Tiffany style dragonfly lamp with water lily base. Chuck carefully assembled 371 pieces of hand cut glass. It was the top seller of the evening and now lives in the home of Alan and Jeanine Terry.
  • Charlotte Stewart: an oil painting in the impressionist style of blooms and butterflies
  • Mary Lynn Vititoe: an oil painting of a special clown
  • Mary Wile: an acrylic on paper of a Winter Walk at Lake Katharine


You can’t party hardy without something to eat. After the untimely passing of Clara Stevenson, we were most grateful to De’Claire’s for honoring their commitment to us. These gals rose above their grief to ensure we were all well fed. Thank You Dee!

The Jewelry Treasure Chest is always a high point of the evening. Folks who bought keys were invited to come put it in the lock of a display case filled with three spectacular diamond pieces donated by A. L. Terry Jewelers. Alan and Jeanine and Alex Terry had just returned from the National Jewelry Show in Houston and brought diamonds in black and white, chocolate and white, and blue and white. This year’s key holders were Greg and Kay Ervin, Maxine Plummer, and Cora Willett.

It could not have been a more fitting time for Maxine to win the jewelry. She has been the Chairwoman and Mastermind of this event since its inception. She announced that this would be her last year as Chair. Taking her place next year will be Phyllis Michael and Heidi Vititoe. They presented Maxine with a dozen long stemmed roses in gratitude and the audience rose as one in a standing ovation for Maxine’s tireless service over the years.


Kathy Miller, Mandy Wechter, Sherry Betschel were able to collect the most amazing items for this year’s Silent Auction. Young Landon Bailey impressed us with not one but two floral photographs. Sherry Betschel also worked in pairs. She donated two acrylic paintings. Gerry Bowman gave a stunning Erickson Glass Bowl.

Jackson High graduate Jamie Callahan is now designing shoes for Sketcher. He donated a pair of his latest design. Karisa DeLay was generous enough to donate an autographed copy of her novel “Crystal Gate” and an acrylic painting. Jim Hazelrigg gave an outdoor American flag with 6’ pole. Michelle Martin Hisnay, a former Board member now living in Cincinnati, presented us with a beautiful hand made pottery casserole dish. Pam and Jim Jacobs teamed up for their gift. It was a quilt with a musical theme on a display ladder.

Steve Pritchett, of Jones-Stephenson Insurance, bleeds red and white. He gave an Ohio State University print. Attorney Joe Kirby donated an Art Set. Jen Paul, another former Board member now living in Cincinnati, used her creativity to make a purse. Samantha Wechter donated a signed Frederick Warren glass piece. Sandra Wilkin and sisters from The Emporium gave a Fenton vase with stand in pink glass. Sandra added another Fenton piece in the form of a silver basket. Kelley Wiley made the cutest Lottery Bunny. We haven’t heard yet how lucrative that bunny was.

The most delicious part of the Silent Auction was courtesy of Chef Mary Reynolds of Flutes & Peppercorns. Famous for the goodies that roll out of her oven, Mary baked a sugar-free cherry and two delectable peach pies.

The Match Pack Raffle was a ball this year. Committee members had scoured the countryside to come up with 314 prizes. By the time they were all lined up on the Prize Table, it was a sight to behold. No one who played this game went away unhappy.

Curt and Judy Wiggins circulated the room throughout the evening selling Split-the-Pot tickets. Cindy Rice was the lucky winner. And Lady Luck found her again later in the evening, when her name was pulled for the Door Prize, a $100 gift certificate to A. L. Terry Jewelers, courtesy of Southern Hills Arts Council.

All in all, this was a great way to shake off winter blues, leap into spring, and benefit the Markay. Thanks to all those helped make it a great success. Committee members who worked diligently to ensure this success were Chairwoman Maxine Plummer, Susie Blanton, Gerry Bowman, Paul Brown, Debbie Crawford, Maria DeCastro, David Furbee, John Lewis, Megan McKee, Phyllis Michael, Kathy Miller, Clarence Rice, Barbara Summers, Heidi Vititoe, Brenda Weber, and Josh Willett.