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Collage for a Cause is a concept that marries the need of various groups and organizations for fresh fund raising ideas with collage workshops that are easy, enjoyable and fulfilling on several levels. Organizations hire a collage artist (with a reduced rate for non-profits) and recruit people to participate. Participants who take the workshop will be provided with a collage kit that consists of a pattern, a schematic and a large selection of papers. Under the guidance of a collage artist, the pattern pieces are used to trace and cut out shapes from a wide selection of decorative papers. These papers are then adhered to a wood panel on which a drawing has been inscribed. There is no need for participants to worry about not being able to draw a stick figure or a straight line; these kits are designed specifically with non-artists in mind. When the collages are completed they are made available for sale, with the profits going to the organization. There are several options available to participants: in addition to actually taking a workshop, interested persons are instead able to have a collage created in their name, or they can make a donation to enable someone else to take the workshop. For more information please call 228.671.6146 or email lorikgordon@gmail.com.  



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The Collage for a Cause workshop to benefit Starfish Cafe resulted in the creation of 16 pieces of really terrific art. On December 20, 2012, Gallery 220 hosted An Evening of Excellence, an event to showcase the art and give purchasers their final chance to bid on the pieces. The event raised $2700  for the Starfish Cafe, after all expenses.

We owe a big debt of gratitude to the artists who agreed to give a day of their life to create a collage, to the persons who made their participation possible by making pledges, and to the purchasers of the art. Also, a sincere "thank you" to Joy Mehrtens and R. J. Pierce for the lovely live performance of Christmas and classical tunes; to Di Fillhart and her talented son Zach for the fantastic food; the Sea Coast Echo and the Fourth Ward Cleaver for their willingness to advertise the event for us and to Jenise McCardell and Mark Currier, owners of Gallery 220 and Clay Creations. Their continuing support of programs that benefit the community sets a shining example for all of us. 

Collage Number 16 by Christina Richardson and Daisy Mae Delray
Tina has named this marvelous collage "Take Joy" after the poem she included along the pathway and up the steps to her cottage.  Her use of bold complimentary colors and repeated floral motif expands on the theme of joy, and will look wonderful gracing the wall of some lucky person's home.
CURRENT BID $100
Please email lorikgordon@gmail.com to place a bid.
Collage Number 15 by Lori K. Gordon
This lovely, historic building will house the Starfish Cafe. 
CURRENT BID $100
Please email lorikgordon@gmail.com to place a bid.
Collage Number 14 by Julie Nelson
This fantastic world is the brainchild of a very creative woman, as you can see.  Julie's vivid house is set on a deep, luscious maroon landscape and her wine bottles in the doorway, front path of flowery profusion and animals gracing the landscape create a truly magical world.
Email lorikgordon@gmail.com to place a bid.
CURRENT BID: $100
Collage Number 13 by Mary Kay Deen
This divine piece of art contains the essence of all that is the wonderful Mary Kay.  I look at this collage and feel warmth, empathy and a sense of the beauty of life. The structural lines of her house are softened by the graceful, organic lines of its surroundings and her choice of colors ooze comfort and peace.
Email lorikgordon@gmail.com to place a bid.
CURRENT BID: $100
Collage Number 12 by Margaret Kennedy
Maggie's awesome collage is a "self-portrait" of her home. Her Katrina experience is indicated by the waves in which her house is submerged (notice the fish rising from the waters?) and the floating pots, but that experience is clearly subordinate to her hope and joy in life as indicated by the sky full of stars, surviving animals and hearts in the doorway and window. Thank you Maggie, for reminding us of all we have to be grateful for in our lives.
Email lorikgordon@gmail.com to place a bid.
OPENING BID $50
Collage Number 11 by Joanna Nygard-Slay
Joanna has given us all a way to travel to Jamaica with this breathtaking collage. Her bold use of color, lush foliage and fanciful landscape makes us wish that we were that fortunate woman looking out the window!
Email lorikgordon@gmail.com to place a bid.
CURRENT BID: $100
Collage Number 10 by Savannah Slay
Savannah's inventive choice of paper for the roof trim, her complimentary color scheme and surprises in the lawn and sky all meld to  produce an astounding piece of art. If someone is lucky enough to have the winning bid on this piece and her mom Joanna's collage, they will have two stunning pieces of art that look great hanging together.
CURRENT BID: $100
Email lorikgordon@gmail.com to place a bid.
Collage Number 9 by Dorothy Raboteau
Dorothy has created a wonderful combination of elegance and whimsey in her collage. One might expect to find this house in Georgetown, until close examination of the sidewalk reveals it is composed of costume jewelry! This piece is a delight.
Email lorikgordon@gmail.com to place a bid.
OPENING BID $50
Collage Number 2 by Mary Coyne
Mary's wonderful collage incorporates a symbolic element; the "clouds" racing across the sky signify winds of hope. Mary had some help from Pneuma founder Di Fillhart, who included the hearts foundation planting and the lively border on the sidewalk.
Email lorikgordon@gmail.com to place a bid.
OPENING BID $50
Collage Number 6 by Freda Swigart
Freda's inventive use of the wine bottles as porch columns are a terrific supportive element for her worldly sky and colorful parade of sea life on on the sidewalk. This very cool piece does indeed inspire!
Email lorikgordon@gmail.com to place a bid.
CURRENT BID $75
Collage Number 7 by Joanne Northridge
Joanne created a calm, peaceful and elegant mood with this lovely collage. Everyone in the workshop decided that it gives the impression of an English garden, and she adopted that name for her work.
Email lorikgordon@gmail.com to place a bid.
OPENING BID $50
Collage Number 8 by Frances Lucas
Francis has created a wild and wacky world with her use of the vivid paisley sky, distorted door and shutters that are hanging askew. One can't help but smile when presented with this incredibly creative piece of art.
Email lorikgordon@gmail.com to place a bid.
OPENING BID $50

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Collage Number 4 by Mary-Pat Forrest.
Mary-Pat (the one and only!) is a Scottish-born artist who lives in Biloxi. Her use of torn paper combined with her freeform, expressive style and bold, contrasting colors has resulted in a superb collage that is as colorful and individual as MP's personality.
Email lorikgordon@gmail.com to place a bid.
CURRENT BID: $65
Collage Number 1 by Erin Elizabeth Coyne.

Erin is a writer and artist from Silver Spring, Maryland. She came all the way to Mississippi to take this workshop, and you can expect to see more of her work gracing the walls of Starfish Cafe when it opens. Erin's signature use of bright, vibrant colors is apparent in this lovely collage that features brightly colored bottles as the foundation of the structure.
OPENING BID $50
Collage Number 3 by Pam Marshall.
Pam is an accomplished artist and owner of the former Aloha Gallery in Diamondhead, MS. Pam's use of text as a design element on the siding of the house and the whimsical addition
OPENING BID $50
Collage Number 5 by Lori K. Gordon
Lori is a Mississippi artist and the founder of Collage for a Cause. Her shotgun house is a quirky creation with fish inhabiting the house and a colorful picket fence in front. This collage was created in the names of Dr. Allen and Janet Branum and Dr. Mark Gordon. Starfish Cafe and the artist thank them for their generosity in funding this collage.
Email lorikgordon@gmail.com to place a bid.
CURRENT BID: $100

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Example of a collage kit with drawing on a board support, pattern pieces and a few pieces of collage paper. This process is a cross between a simple jigsaw puzzle and a paint by number kit.

Pictured here are some of the members of the Collage for a Cause workshop for Starfish Cafe. Top photo, from the left: Mary-Pat Forrest, Di Fillhart, Erin Elizabeth Coyne, Lori Gordon, Mary Coyne, Pam Marshall. Bottom photo: Erin Elizabeth Coyne and Lori Gordon share one of many happy moments.

Join us in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi on Saturday, December 1 or Thursday, December 13 for a workshop to benefit Starfish Cafe. The cafe is a hands-on 16 week restaurant training program for young people who need to develop skills for a productive life. Starfish Cafe is slated to open in December of this year, in an historic house located at 211 Main Street in Old Town Bay St. Louis.  We will be creating collages of shotgun houses for this fund raising event. After the workshops on the 1st and 13th, we will collect the collages, add a varnish and get them ready to hang. We will  set up an exhibit of the work at Gallery 220, post them on Facebook and set up a silent auction. The highest bidder will be awarded your collage. Persons who have pledged to you will have the opportunity of applying the amount of that pledge towards the purchase of your piece. We are also making available an option for those of you who want to participate but because of scheduling conflicts or because you do not live in the area, are not able to attend the workshop. 
With "participation by proxy" a collage will be created for you. If you are not able to contribute the entire minimum amount, no problem: the collage to which you contribute will include your name along with the names of any others who also contribute, and your piece will be available for sale with the proceeds donated to Starfish Cafe in your name. 

What better way to celebrate the Christmas season than with this combination of good works, creativity and relaxation? I have been teaching workshops in collage for several years, and I guarantee you a satisfying experience in a non-threatening atmosphere. Remember, this kit has been created with non-artists in mind. Please join us in the spirit of giving this holiday season, and rest easy knowing you have contributed to a cause that benefits your community.