Local artists raise funds for river education project

June 5, 2013 by  

The Statesboro Regional Art Association (SRAA) has raised over $6,000 towards an initiative to protect the Ogeechee River.

The event, which saw a silent auction of works inspired by the river and created by local artists, was hosted last Friday, May 31. It followed a month-long exhibition of the works, and everyone involved seemed in agreement that it was a great success. Their only worry now is how to repeat the success in 2014.

First touted by the aptly named Ida Waters, one of the member artists of the SRAA, the fundraiser was also a fitting way to mark the association’s 40th anniversary.

The early estimations put the total raised at $6,160 for the Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s Environmental Education Program. The program’s executive director Emily Markesteyn highlighted the importance of the scheme, saying:

“Despite the impression of a largely rural landscape, this region of Georgia is experiencing increased pressures – of agribusiness, population growth, water withdrawals and wastewater discharges – which are forcing the rivers to undergo drastic changes in water quality and face serious ecological decline.”

The event also allowed many other charitable organizations to come together.

With the river, the local environment, and other shared interests for the groups, and silent bids made on cards next to each work, there was certainly a good deal of business card printing needed ahead of the event at the Averitt Center for the Arts.

The night took some six months to put together, and involved a lot of people from different backgrounds really hauling the load.

As well as the artists and the association’s administration staff getting involved, many Statesboro folks also volunteered their time and expertise for the cause.