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Peaceful stroll, silent auction

The unofficial motto of the annual Strolling Through the Arts silent auction says it all: Physicians heal the body, while the arts soothe the soul.

That's why the two beneficiaries of the show seem like such a good fit. The Good Samaritan Health Clinic provides health care for working people with limited incomes; the Pasco County Arts Council provides art classes and shows for all ages, incomes and interests.

The annual show and auction, which will be from 5 p.m. to sunset Saturday, will give art lovers a chance to buy works from well-known and unknown artists while benefiting these two worthwhile organizations. While patrons make their choices and write down their bids, musicians will entertain on piano, flute, guitar and violin, and servers will pass around platters heaped with tidbits and goodies to eat.

"This year's auction items are even more diverse than last year," said Marj Golub, director of the Pasco Art Center on Moog Road, where the benefit will be held.

At last count, 115 artworks and art-related items had been donated to the benefit.

Among the items are lithographs by well-known Florida artists Christopher Still and Keith Martin Johns, an oil painting by Roxanne Harmon, a watercolor by Robin Wood and a limited-edition print from the berghoff-cowden editions printmaking studio and gallery in New Port Richey.

Still's signed and numbered limited-edition lithograph is a reduced rendition of his 36-by-90-inch oil on linen masterwork of 1997, The Passing of One Day. It shows a sunset along the banks of Myakka River with two boaters in the distance. The scene is framed by native plants and trees that Still saw near the Hillsborough and Anclote rivers.

Wood's painting shows a breakfast table with fruit and flowers in bright, rich teal, pink and purple pastels. Johns' medium-sized print is Rock Bluffs.

Art collector Paul Rogers donated several works, including a lithograph by Marc Chagall.

Among the whimsical items to be auctioned are a facial from the Secret Garden Spa, a collectible Barbie doll, a collection of laser disc movies, a Murano Glass clown, travel packages and tickets to the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson.

"We have a lot of baskets we've given an art theme, too," Mrs. Golub said. They include a basket of gardening implements the center dubbed "The Art of Gardening," several bottles of condiments called "The Art of Getting Sauced" and some financial items called "The Art of Banking." A basket of Mary Kay cosmetics is called "The Art of Pampering."

Potterymaker Charles Parten has donated two pieces of Raku. Artist Frank Mason has submitted a lithograph showing a street in New York's Little Italy. Artist Jean Lemen has donated a three-panel privacy screen created with oil paints and collages with a theme of birdhouses.

"Four out of the five pieces she's had in our gift shop have sold quickly," Mrs. Golub said.

"We have several works in the $500 to $1,000 range, but the bulk of them are in the $100 to $200 range," Mrs. Golub said.

"We also have plenty of things for $50 or so," she said.

Last year's silent auction raised $3,000 that was split between the two beneficiaries.

"Our strategic plan over the years is when this (event) comes around, people will say, "They have some nice art,' " Mrs. Golub said. "We're trying to move the bar up each year on quality."