Sebastian River Art Club celebrates 80 years

Members and supporters of the Sebastian River Art Club gathered last Saturday afternoon at the SRAC Art Center for an 80th Anniversary Celebration – complete with cake and plenty of goodies, a free raffle of a dozen pieces donated by members and an 80th Anniversary Art Show of members’ works, which will run through the end of the month.

After welcoming guests, current president Judy Burgarella paid tribute to the late Rosalee Taylor Hume, a founding member and the namesake of the club’s scholarship fund.  A noted artist and sculptor, Hume created the iconic Paul Kroegel Statue at Riverview Park in Sebastian.

“The founders were maybe about a dozen people who came together and they met in each other’s homes,” said Burgarella.  She added that the group began meeting in 1937, possibly as an offshoot of the Vero Beach Art Club, by artists who wished to gather closer to home.  The club officially became the Sebastian River Art Club in 1972.

“We’re a friendly group of people who like to share our knowledge and our talents with the community,” said Burgarella of the roughly 170 members.  “We have classes, workshops, art shows, fundraisers; we raise money for the food pantry with our Little Gems.”

In recognition of October as National Arts and Humanities month, the SRAC will offer a free class from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 26.  Their popular Little Gems show, featuring miniature works of art perfect for holiday gift-giving, will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Nov. 16, with 100 percent of sales benefiting the local food pantry. The Art Center, located on the Sebastian City Hall campus, is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and most Saturdays 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.

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