It all happened Oct. 5, under the bubble of the Abbott Sports Complex Nebraska Tennis Center, as nearly 500 people gathered for the highly anticipated nontraditional art event “Doorways to Hope.” The Free Family Event Benefit Auction was the grand finale to an 18-month collaboration between Hildegard Center for the Arts and Lincoln/Lancaster County Habitat that called local artists to create works of art using doors. Unique to the call, artists had to also enlist a community group to help them construct their art.
Twenty door-inspired works of art were silent-auctioned throughout the afternoon with a “live” auction that also featured a “21st” door and a glass collection donated by the project’s “Signature Artist” Therman Statom.
Mayor Chris Beutler presented the artist with a medallion, honoring Statom for his contribution and service to the project. Beutler also proclaimed Oct. 5 as “Doorways to Hope Day.”
'Outside the box'
“Our art event was ‘outside the box’, completely free and welcomed everyone,” said Kim Einspahr, President, Hildegard Center for the Arts. “With the support of our terrific sponsors, local artists and amazing volunteers, the project was able to reach out to those nontraditional audiences and change lives in meaningful ways to inspire ‘community’ through the arts ~ everyone was allowed a chance to give back.”
Kids and adults alike were invited to paint leaves on a 24-foot mural of hinged doors called the “CommUNITY Tree.” The doors will be placed in new Habitat for Humanity homes. Guests were treated to free food and entertainment with the band “Toasted Ponies” and the “Thrown Together Jugglers.”
The funds raised will help build a new Habitat for Humanity Home called an “Art House Build” with a family in need and to begin an endowment for Hildegard Center for the Arts. Doorways to Hope has raised over $46,000, with more potential to follow.
Private bids are being accepted for Therman Statom’s 21st door, a12-ft. glass portal titled “Puerta a la Esperanza” (translated: “Doorway to Hope”). “Therman’s door is such a creative symbol of inspiration and hope and we look forward to having the sculpture placed somewhere out in the community soon,” said Michele Williamson, executive director of Lincoln/Lancaster County Habitat for Humanity.
Images of Therman’s sculpture can be seen at www.doorwaysproject.org. To purchasing the work, contact L/LC Habitat for Humanity at (402) 477-9184 or Kim Einspahr at (402) 488-0678.