FALLBROOK – Save Our Forest with the Fallbrook Land Conservancy are holding an unusual fundraiser with the help of local artists and the seven remaining benches from those originally crafted by wood craftsman/cabinet maker Robert Olds for The Fallbrook Treescape Project from 1996 to 2000.
The benches were originally made for a bench adoption fundraiser for tree maintenance, fashioned after benches on Cherry Blossom Lane in Washington.
The benches had been sanded and sealed with high grade, sun-resistant varnish numerous times, finally painted by volunteers from Village Rotary. In 2007, Save Our Forest switched to recycled plastic blenches which required no refinishing and provide easy graffiti removal.
At that time, the purchased benches then became a gift to the community. Cost of bench, plaque and installation ate up the entire adoption fee of $500.
In 2018, SOF campaigned to raise funds to replace the remaining 18 wooden benches, many in poor shape. Financial support came from the Rotary Club of Fallbrook and many original adopters.
Those leftover benches that were viable are now the subject for an art bench fundraising project organized by Nancy Heins Glaser, supporter of Save Our Forest.
Though the benches of white oak are works of art all by themselves, they are being restored and upcycled to become original works of art by seven widely recognized professional artists.
Once the benches have been preserved and enhanced, they will be sold to area homeowners, with the proceeds benefiting Save Our Forest and Fallbrook Land Conservancy. "Take A Seat – The Art Bench Fundraiser" will be held at Vince Ross Village Square at Main Avenue and Alvarado Street Saturday, Nov. 2, from 4-7 p.m. There will be complimentary refreshments and a cash bar.
All are invited to join Save Our Forest for its upcycled restyled art bench auction, art under the stars. The participating artists are Joel Anderson, Gabriele Bitter, Neill Ketchum, BJ Lane, Daniel F. Martinez, Lisa and Gamini Ratnivara and Leslie Sweetland.
Guests have the opportunity to buy these one of a kind benches for their home. There will be a minimum starting bid for these seats that have a unique history.
Supporters of a particular nonprofit or service club might want to purchase and donate the bench to the entity of their choice.
A plaque will be mounted on the bench with the name of the contributing artist and the donor's name if it is to be donated to a nonprofit location
Delivery will be arranged by Save Our Forest. If required, permanent installation will also be provided by Save Our Forest. If a concrete slab is imperative, the cost will be extra. Metal powdered coated feet for benches will be provided.
Dick Blick of Blick Art Materials underwrote the cost of artist supplies with a $50 gift card for each artist.
Anyone interested can get a sneak peek of one of the benches at the Oct. 20 Harvest Festival on Main Avenue.
Submitted by Save Our Forest.