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Show brings art, community together
Arts on the Coast raise $500 for Matthew Freeman Project
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Artist Nina Flores, right, discusses her work with admirers Saturday evening during the Arts on the Coasts fall show reception. - photo by Philip Clements

Arts on the Coast held its annual Fall Art Show last weekend at its new home in the Speir Brogdon Building on Highway 17 in Richmond Hill.

The three-day event was a chance to display the art created by Arts on the Coast members and help spread awareness of the rich art community in the area — as well as raise money for the Matthew Freeman Project: Pens and Paper for Peace.

“We had a really good turnout … I would imagine at least a couple hundred throughout the weekend,” said Sarah Volker, one of the vice presidents of the nonprofit art association founded in 2003.

The weekend-long event included a reception Saturday night with artists and members, providing an opportunity for the community to see the art and meet the artists over refreshments.

“I love being able to talk about my art with people who are genuinely interested,” said Nina Flores, one of the Arts on the Coast artists who had work on display.

The reception included a silent auction to benefit the Matthew Freedman Project, a local nonprofit effort that collects school supplies for distribution to children in war-torn countries. The silent auction included more than 10 works of art as well as gift cards to various local businesses, such as Picasso for a Night, Fish Tales and Uptown Deli.

“We want to partner with other nonprofit organizations, work with them and help them get some funding (in the future),” said Volker. “All in all, we were able to raise over $500 for the Matthew Freeman Project.”

The evening also served as a grand opening for the art gallery, which is open to the public on from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

“It’s the first time we’ve had any place we (AOC) could call home. It gives us a center and gives the artists and community members a chance to come together,” said Volker.

“One of the problems AOC has had, because we didn’t have a permanent location, is that we’d only really show up two or three times a year and then we’d basically disappear. This way it gives the community a chance to come in and see what we’re doing.”

The space was donated by building owners Gene and Carol Brogdon to be used as an art gallery until it is leased. However, when that happens, Gene Brogdon said he would make sure to find another place for the artist group to relocate.

“We have been supporters of Arts on the Coast for years and we are happy to help out by providing them a place to display their art,” said Brogdon.

To learn more about Arts on the Coast, visit the gallery in the Speir Brogdon Building or go to

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