'Painting for the Park' a great outlet for creativity

(Left) Cate Marshall painted a piano while taking part in "Painting For the Park."
Staff Writer

Fundraising for the Growth Alliance Foundation to raise money for the renovation of Sally Kate Winters Park began Saturday, with "Painting For the Park," hosted by Deborah Mansfield.

For a $40 donation, those wishing to try their hand at painting came to Deborah Mansfield's Decorative Painting Studio, to paint and to help raise money for the park restoration. The original plan had been to paint the canvases while in the park. But the weather was not being cooperative.

The Growth Alliance Foundation was started to help with projects to beautify downtown West Point. Sally Kate Winters Park will be the first project for the Foundation.

"We thought this would be a great way to create a gift for Mother's Day," Lisa Klutts, director of the Growth Alliance, said.

"I came with my mother-in-law, Anita Klutts. Everyone knows how creative she is. And she is doing a wonderful painting of the wisteria in the park."

The participants drew inspiration from their own ideas or Mansfield was ready to help with some suggestions.

Anne Comer was with her daughter, Allie, who was painting a geometric design to hang in her bedroom.

"We had painted her room recently and are still in the process of decorating," Comer said. "She liked a geometric painting, so I took a picture of it and asked Deborah Mansfield to paint something like it. She suggested we come and take part in ‘Painting For the Park.’ I thought it was a great idea."

Comer will be able to tell her friends she painted the original artwork that will hang above her bed.

"We had about 15 people participate. I was pleased with the response," Mansfield said. "I want to do this a few more times through the year. It was fun. We may do another ‘celebrity painting' auction. That did very well a few years ago as a fundraiser."

Cate Marshall painted a piano for her grandmother Susie Marshall.

"My grandmother loves music," Marshall said. "I think she will like a painting of a piano. This was a lot of fun. I'd like to do it again."

Several people chose a folk art type of church as their project.

"We take turns using the hair dryer to dry the paint," Mary Ann Briggs said. "After the paint dries, Deborah will help me put gold leaf on the steeple. I'm very pleased with how it looks so far."