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Blue-themed gallery exhibit to showcase local artists, raise money


Art exhibit “We Paint… the Blues” showcases local art from Feb. 1 to March 29 at The Vault at Gallery Mortgage in downtown Bloomington. All of the artwork follows the theme of “blues,” so every piece reflects this by either its color, emotion or definition. Kevin Kratz

"We Paint... the Blues," an art exhibit running through the end of the month, celebrates everything blue: The hue, the blues music genre and the sadness associated with the color.

The exhibit will continue from now until March 29 and is located at the Vault at Gallery Mortgage, which is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. The Bloomington Watercolor Society, a group of local artists that promote each other's art and work in collaboration, coordinated the event.

Jeanne Dutton, coordinator for the exhibit and a member of the Bloomington Watercolor Society, said the exhibit itself is very interesting because artists have freedom with the theme.

“It’s really an interesting, varied exhibit,” she said.

The pieces range from a painting of a sailboat displayed against a bright blue sky to a painting of a blues artist set against a colorful background with purple, yellow, pink, orange and blue.

This display is one of over 10 events involved in LIFEDesigns’ “Week of Chocolate” and has been a part of it for four years. LIFEDesigns is a local non-profit that helps people with disabilities learn important life skills and become more independent.

“The Week of Chocolate,” a fundraiser named after its original event, raised money for LIFEDesigns’ operating expenses, which will allow LIFEDesigns to provide more staff to help those with disabilities learn skills such as navigating the public transportation system and vocational skills.

Although the “Week of Chocolate” was from Feb. 1 to Feb. 17, the “We Paint… the Blues” exhibit will stay in place until the end of March.

For this exhibit, when the paintings are sold, 50 percent of the money goes to LIFEDesigns, and the other 50 percent goes to the artist. In addition, members of the Bloomington Watercolor Society will visit the exhibit to do watercolor demonstrations and sell greeting cards for $5 to raise more money for the cause.

Dutton said there are multiple reasons why it’s important to attend this exhibit.

“First, it supports LIFEDesigns,” she said. “Secondly, it supports the local art scene. Third, art is always good for the soul. ”

According to Stephanie Shelton, development director at LIFEDesigns, fundraisers like “We Paint… the Blues” are important to LIFEDesigns because it allows the non-profit to provide more help to those with disabilities and their families.

“What we do is we allow not only the people that we support to go back to work, but their family member too,” Shelton said. “We are not only making a difference in individuals’ lives, we are making a difference in the entire community.”

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