Some are cancer patients. Others are survivors. Still more are supporters.
Like the team that rows for DragonBoat Beaufort, the artists contributing work for a fundraising auction at ARTworks come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. But they have one thing in common.
"You can't meet someone who doesn't have a connection to cancer in some way," said artist Terry Brennan, who is contributing a tiger sculpture that placed in the top 25 of 1,500 entries during the ArtPrize international competition two weeks ago.
DragonBoat Beaufort is a racing team and nonprofit group formed last winter after Clare Taylor and Mary Ann Thomas saw a film about a similar team in Charleston during the Beaufort International Film Festival.
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They started practicing -- first in borrowed boats and later in their own vessel purchased through donations and fundraisers. Now that the team has bought a safety boat so the Beaufort Water Search & Rescue Squad does not have to accompany them during practices, it's ready to aim its fundraising toward helping local cancer patients pay for medication and daily expenses. A licensed social worker helps the group vet the needs of those being assisted, Taylor said.
The art auction is in cooperation with ARTworks, and pieces will be displayed at the center until the auction at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Artists set minimum prices for their works and share the proceeds with DragonBoat Beaufort and ARTworks. Twenty pieces will be selected for auction; the others will be displayed for sale.
More than 50 pieces had been submitted by Wednesday and included drawings, sculptures, paintings, glasswork, jewelry, photographs and quilts. Artists were challenged to interpret what DragonBoat Beaufort means to them.
Artist Steve Weeks went out on the Water Search & Rescue boat during practices, took photographs, then compared them with photographs others took and created an oil painting of the boat and its reflection on the water.
He is an avid rower, and while he supports the organization, he does not row unless needed because he would rather leave a seat open for a patient or survivor. He is donating 40 percent of the proceeds from his painting.
"I did this to help them along, and this is the way I can help them most," Weeks said.
Stephen Moscowitz said a persuasive Taylor handed him the auction-entry form a month ago and asked what he would make for it.
"It's very meaningful to me, what they are doing, the DragonBoat thing," Moscowitz said. "I have two very good friends who have Stage IV cancer."
He painted the boat alive and rowing itself with a "gleeful" look on its face. Although his paintings typically fetch $1,000 or more, he conservatively priced the work at an opening bid of $300 to increase the likelihood of a sale to benefit DragonBoat Beaufort.
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/EyeonBeaufort.