Harrisburg art auction to benefit Broad St. Market vendors displaced by fire

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A local art auction is set to benefit the vendors displaced by a fire on July 10 that gutted the brick building of the Broad Street Market.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A local art auction is set to benefit the vendors displaced by a fire on July 10 that gutted the brick building of the Broad Street Market.

The Susquehanna Art Museum invited Harrisburg-area artists to paint the market en plein air—outside. Their finished artwork will go to an online charity auction.

Susquehanna Art Museum executive director Alice Anne Schwab has lived in the area for 33 years. She said as a longtime resident, the project was personal for her and the 12 Harrisburg artists who have signed up so far.

“It’s like neighbors helping neighbors,” she said. “We wanted to do something; we didn’t know what. We thought, ‘Let’s do something that’s in our wheelhouse.’”

The goal is to raise at least $2,500 to support the displaced vendors.

On Thursday morning, artist Steve Wetzel stood outside the market with a brush and easel. As he dabbed oil paint on his canvas, he explained how he ended up choosing to paint the sky with a mixture of deep blue, green and gray.

“I did the sky very dark, darker than this at the beginning because I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. I thought maybe I would work on a nocturnal scene,” Wetzel said. “I finally decided that what I wanted to do was a morning-after type of painting.”

The museum is accepting additional finished pieces of art until Aug. 4 at 5 p.m. You can sign up to participate by contacting Alice Anne Schwab at [email protected].

The silent auction goes live online on Aug. 9 and will end Aug. 18. You can place a bid here.

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