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Communique: Nearly 500 Pieces Of Art | Landfall Foundation Art Show

Marilyn Gunther
Art from the Landfall Art Show

The Landfall Foundation's 18th Annual Art Show opens today at the Nicklaus Country Club in Landfall. There are nearly 500 pieces of 2-D and 3-D art in the show from 110 artists. All the work is for sale, and the show is open for just 3 days: Thursday, 8/17-Saturday, 8/19, 10:00am-7:00pm. I spoke with the Foundation's President, Marilyn Gunther, about the art--but first, about the money. 


Credit WHQR/gg
Marilyn Gunther, President of the Landfall Foundation

  Marilyn: The Landfall Foundation is a charitable organization that was founded 22 years ago with the intent of raising funds within the Landfall community to give back to the greater Wilmington area. And the way that we do it is, we do, we have events throughout the year-one of which we're going to be talking about today-in raising funds and we have a grants program so that some of the nonprofits within the Wilmington area give proposals for grants and our grants committee then takes those grants and evaluates them and we then determine how much money they're going to get for the various programs that they have. Last year, in 2016, we gave 88 grants for a total of three hundred and fifty one thousand dollars and we give them in the areas of arts, health and welfare, and education. And we give them primarily to organizations that are all 501 c3 organizations for programs that they have, that they are going to do. And it's our way of of trying to provide a better living for all the citizens of Wilmington.


Credit Marilyn Gunther
Landfall Foundation Art Show

Gina: And one of the events that you do yearly is the Landfall Foundation Art Show. Tell me how the art show is structured and do the artists actually donate these paintings? Or do they give you a percentage? And, just, what are all the nuts and bolts?

Marilyn: First of all, this is the 18th year for our art show. And it has grown to be the most favorite activity that we have. The community absolutely loves it. It's open to the public. It is a non-juried show but we have around 110 artists who have submitted their works and it's hanging now. I saw it today and it's absolutely gorgeous. And the artists give a certain percentage [30%] back. That's how the foundation makes money. Man, we have talent in this town. It's wonderful to see it. And so they get the opportunity to show their art at the same time we are raising money for the foundation. So all of the artists for sale. It's open to the public. It's runs from Thursday-this coming Thursday-August 17th through the 19th. It's open from 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.. If you come a little later on in the afternoon you can even get cocktails and walk around while you're looking at the art. That's always kind of fun and enjoy the art and hopefully you'll find something that you'd like to have. And that's where the proceeds go. It's a wonderful exhibit and it's amazing to me. Every year we say, this is the best show but this year, it's really the best show.

Gina: This is this is the year.

Credit Marilyn Gunther
Landfall Foundation Art Show


Marilyn: This is the year.


Gina: I bet you'll say the same next year!


Marilyn: I hope so.

Gina: When you walked in to look at the art, what caught your eye? 

Marilyn: Well, what I was impressed with was the variety of art. From a very traditional type of paintings and watercolors to the more contemporary pieces that are out there. And also the number of sculptures, glass that has worked on clay. Every medium-photographs- every medium that you can possibly think of. So there's quite a variety for everyone's taste and it's kind of fun, even if it isn't your taste, to go through and see what did you think that artist meant when they were putting that composition together? And it's, it's just beautifully done.

Gina: And you have 110 artists, and going up toward 500 pieces.


Credit Marilyn Gunther
Landfall Foundation Art Show

Marilyn: Close to 500 pieces on exhibit.We have-most of it's hanging-but we do have some bin work and everybody knows the bin work, of course, has a little smaller price tag on it. Which makes that, it means that it's a show that anyone can go to, can enjoy, and find something very special that they might like to buy.

Gina: Going back to the the mission of the Landfall Foundation and how the Landfall Foundation uses this money, you have the granting program and nonprofit organizations are invited to apply to receive that grant money. Can you tell us a little bit about that?


Marilyn: Yes.The grants are submitted in June. And all summer long our grants committee review all of the grants that have been submitted. By that time we know approximately how much money we're going to be able to give out. And so the challenge is, we generally get grants asking for about twice the amount that we have. So it's a real challenge to be able to try and determine who is going to get how much because there are so many, many worthy causes out there. We tend to favor smaller organizations. We tend to favor those that are not nationally funded but those that are run by local organizations and local people and have been successful with the organizations. I can give you many, many names that you would recognize from Guardian Ad Litem to Good Shepherd to Mother Hubbard's Cupboard, all of the arts programs, Wilmington Choral Society, I could go on and on and on. Many of whom have special programs that they would like to do for the general public or for kids that they otherwise would not be able to afford to do. And we are so delighted to be able to give them an opportunity to bring culture, to help with education, and also to help just simply better the lives of our citizens.

Gina: One of the areas that I'm interested in is what you all do with the health and wellness. I know all about the arts organizations.

Credit Marilyn Gunther
Landfall Foundation Art Show


Marilyn: The food pantries that are out there that provide those kinds of things-Nourish North Carolina is a good example of that, whether it be for adults or for students. Those are good. We don't fund any political or religious organizations but we do if they provide something that is for the general public and St. Mary's Dental Clinic is an example of that. We have provided, for many years, money to help with their children's dental program and what can be more important than keeping kids, their mouths healthy and giving them a good smile and teaching them how to take care of themselves? So we do those kinds of things and those are an example of that. And in education we do a lot of things from, not only having special programs that groups put on, but even through the schools-particularly the title one schools-providing iPads and things of that nature for kids. Books. First Book is another one-it's a big one. It's hard for me to imagine not having children and not having books. And many of these kids have not. And so we've been very generous about funding those as well.

So it always gets down to, in November, everybody comes to the Landfall Country Club where we give out the checks and that is the best day of the year for us. When we make those distributions and it's a great time and we're very grateful to be able to do that. But the foundation does do a couple of other things too, Gina. This past year we gave over $40,000 in capital grants. These are for brick and mortar kinds of things.
And this-we have helped with the-fix the the porch on the Bellamy Mansion. That was a year before last. This past year I went down to the Literacy Council where we gave them a check for $15,000 to get air conditioning. Can you imagine working down there without air conditioning this past summer? So, needless to say, we were very well received.

And the last big grant that we gave was to Kids Making It, who are on Castle Street and are working with the after school programs with kids and they're trying to expand their program and they're trying to expand their building, so that was great. And then the third thing that the Landfill Foundation does is provide scholarships for employees who work at Landfall. As long as they're working two thirds of time, they can apply for scholarships. And it's a great way to keep a consistent, employee based and kids who are motivated and provide them with an opportunity of a good education. It's a good plan. So, we're really very pleased. Last year, in total in 2016, we gave $400,000 between the grants the the special capital grants that we do. And for those scholarships. So we're very proud of it.

Gina: With the Art Show-what is the judging about-what's getting judged? What kind of awards and things?


Mariyln: We have a number of awards in all of the different mediums that we do and we have honorable mentions for all the various categories that we have too, whether it's watercolor or photography or whatever it might be. And the judge is a repeat judge that we had last year and his name is Dan Beck. And Dan has won a number of awards. He worked in Colorado for a while but then he came back to Wilmington and he's a very well-known artist here. And so we're delighted to have him back again. So he is going to be the judge. This show is interesting because it is not jury but honestly, if you were to look at the quality of this work, you would, you would swear it was juried but it's not. But it is judged and it is the judge that makes the determination as who gets all these awards. So we're having Dan back again. We're pleased to have him.

One thing I might mention is that the location of the art show has changed this year. Normally it has been at the-if you're used to coming-it has been at the Dye Country Club and this year it's at the Nicklaus Country Club, which is the main country club. It's much easier to find. There are, however, a lot of signages the minute that you go in. So if you're at all confused, just ask at the gate and they'll tell you exactly where to go. This one, this place is much easier to find than the last one was.

Transcription assistance from PopUpArchive & Lindsay Wright