SWFL artists paint for people in need of legal services

Artists from around Southwest Florida will paint for a cause this weekend. The inspiring work of these artists will support families in need of legal assistance.

“About a year and a half ago, we had a dear friend who was deported back to Guatemala and left behind a wife and three children,” Laura Barnard said. “At that time, I decided I need to get help for their family.”

You could call Barnard’s stroke of genius for helping Southwest Florida families who cannot afford legal services.

“I love art,” Barnard said. “So I decided maybe artists would be willing to donate paintings and we would raise money that way.”

Now, more than 50 artists, like Paul Arsenault, paint for the humanitarian group, Art Aid Naples. This Saturday, Arsenault will rise to a new challenge for the cause.

“The QuickDraw event,” Arsenault said, “which is a timed outdoor event.”

Arsenault and other artists will paint in front of a live audience at the Naples Beach Hotel. They will have a three-hour limit to complete their masterpiece.

After the morning’s Quickdraw, Bill Barnett, the mayor of Naples, will auction off the artwork around noon to benefit the Legal Aid Service of Collier County.

Jeff Ahren, development director for the Legal Aid Services of Collier County, said the non-profit provides legal services to residents in need. These county residents include abused children, victims of domestic violence, veterans, seniors, immigrants and other people vulnerable in the population.

“We did our first fundraising event in April – raised close to $30,000,” said the art enthusiast, Barnard, who is inspiring people by painting a beautiful picture of community service. “It was very uplifting and very inspiring.”

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If you would like to watch that Quickdraw event or take part in the art auction this Saturday, tickets are on sale for $10.

Reporter:Melinda Lee
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