, Newburyport, MA

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October 25, 2013

From easel to auction

Wet Paint event benefits Commission for Diversity and Tolerance


“They might get paint on them,” she said. “I always tell people to look nice but not too nice.”

Returning artists this year include prominent Newburyporters Alan Bull and Robert Scott Jackson, along with second-time participant Hannah Stevens Allen, a 2012 Wheaton College graduate.

“She’s one of those people to keep an eye on,” Shaw said. “She is doing a landscape for us, but she really specializes in portrait painting and mural work.”

Audrey Bechler is a painter who has taken part in every Wet Paint Auction, Shaw said. A former Newburyport resident, she now lives in Waldoboro, Maine.

“She has come back and faithfully painted every year,” Shaw said. “Her stuff is really spectacular.”

A new artist this year is Nate Bibaud, an Amesbury native who started using a wrist splint to help him draw and paint after he was paralyzed in a 2010 accident. He has donated a small acrylic painting for the silent auction.

“It’s kind of a nice mix,” Shaw said. “We’ve got people who have been painting for 50 years, some in the middle, some newer.”

Proceeds from the evening are split between the artists and the Newburyport Friends for Peace, the fundraising arm for the Commission for Diversity and Tolerance. The commission awards several mini-grants each year to organizations and schools for programs that exemplify the mission to eliminate prejudice and discrimination. Recipients include Nock Middle School’s International Expo, the YWCA’s Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast, and the Diversity Reading Project and Collection at the Emma Andrews Library.

The commission also presents the annual Newburyport Peace Prize to a boy and girl from each of the city’s schools, as well as to a man and woman in the community.

Though the Friends for Peace just took the auction over in recent years, it dates back more than 20 years, previously raising money for the No Place for Hate Committee and the Women’s Crisis Center (now the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center).

If you go

What: Wet Paint Auction

When: Tomorrow. Preview party and silent auction start at 6:30 p.m., with live auction at 7:30

Where: Steeple Hall at the Mission Oak Grill, 26 Green St., Newburyport

How much: $30. Tickets available at the Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank, online at and at the door.

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