SAFETY HARBOR — Go ahead, sip the wine. Enjoy the hors d'oeuvres. Buy the art.
It's all for a great cause — and at a great price, too.
Today, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., Syd Entel Galleries hosts a very special exhibition featuring more than 100 pieces of artwork — ceramics, paintings, crafts and more — created by 43 developmentally challenged adults who are students at the nearby Harborside Studios.
There is no admission charge.
"The purpose is to raise awareness of Harborside Studios and the UPARC Foundation, which supports the program," said Ellen Pope, chairwoman of the third annual event.
UPARC, the Upper Pinellas Association for Retarded Citizens, acquired Harborside Studios in 2004. It's open during the day to people with disabilities who seek expression through the visual arts.
More than 200 guests attended last year's event and purchased 92 pieces of art — almost the entire inventory, Pope said.
Art ranges in price from $15 for a print to $500 for a large original painting. Artists receive 60 percent of the sales price; Harborside gets the balance, which goes toward art supplies.
The gallery inside Harborside, just a short walk away from Syd Entel, will be open and will feature plenty more art for sale. A van will offer transportation between the two galleries during the show.
Pining for a Picasso?
If so, you can get a look-alike by Harborside artist Michael Minieri. He's this year's featured artist and will be at today's show demonstrating his uncanny ability to copy photographs and pictures from books.
"He can look at a Picasso and make it his own," said Michelle Ault, director of Harborside Studios. "All the artists here take great pride in their work."
Reach Terri Bryce Reeves at firstname.lastname@example.org.