RAC to auction shoes

A local art gallery is saying goodbye to decorated furniture and hello to shoes as they gear up for their annual benefit auction.

With the Summer Moon Festival three months away, Riverside Art Center officials are already planning their annual auction that they host in conjunction with the event.

Riverside Art Center members are currently taking on a new challenge for their charity auction this year by collecting donated decorated shoes.

Last year, members collected decorated wood furniture, including chairs, bookshelves and tables, and this year, they are asking the community to donate shoes, which can be donated either decorated or not, to contribute to their “One Small Step” charity shoe auction that will be held on July 20-21 in conjunction with the Summer Moon Festival.

“I’m really excited,” Riverside Art Center Gallery Director Anna Fisher said. “I think it’s wonderful. Choosing shoes as the theme plays into the Neil Armstrong theme. Shoes have a universal appeal.”

The center decided to auction off decorated shoes, instead of furniture, to “change it up” a bit.

Patrons are invited to add a special touch to their new or used shoes, by painting them, adding a flower arrangement in them or any other artist touch to them.

“There are endless possibilities,” Fisher said. “So far, we have a (cowboy) boot with flowers, a painted design on leather sandals and small baby shoes.”

Fisher said it does not even have to be a pair of shoes, but it can just be one, and they can be donated to the center either decorated or not-decorated. The shoes that come non-decorated will be dressed up by the members of the Riverside Art Center.

RAC member Carrie Knoch came up with the idea to auction shoes this year in the silent auction, along with having a section of cash and carry items, which can be purchased and taken home on the spot.

“This is good for the out-of-towners,” Fisher said of the new implement for the auction.

Each person who donates shoes can designate a charity of their choice to benefit. In the past, 50 percent of the profit for the sale of the shoes goes to Riverside Art Center and the remaining 50 percent goes to the charity of the donor’s choice.

Shoes will be collected now until July 10 at the Riverside Art Center.

“It’s one of the most fun things we do,” Fisher said. “It’s something we look forward to each year. This brings in people who don’t normally come in.”