Giertz Gallery holds mug and dessert fundraiser

Photo by Tom Warner|  Ceramic cups fill tables for the Coffee and Tea, Cups and Desserts Benefit at Parkland’s Giertz Gallery on Nov. 30.

Photo by Tom Warner|
Ceramic cups fill tables for the Coffee and Tea, Cups and Desserts Benefit at Parkland’s Giertz Gallery on Nov. 30.

Emma Gray


Parkland’s Giertz Gallery held its biennial Coffee and Tea, Cups and Dessert Benefit on Nov. 30, raising money that will go to supporting the gallery.

The event took place alongside the “State of the Art: Ceramics Invitational,” fittingly because most of the items for sale at the event were ceramic pieces. There were also hand dyed silk scarves for sale, made by Melinda McIntosh using Shibori, a Japanese resist technique of dyeing fabric. There was a flower arrangement drawing taking place as well.

Attendees were given a ceramic mug included in the price of their ticket at the door and had the option to purchase more items at the event. There was a silent auction with ceramic pieces starting anywhere from $15–50 and ‘Grab and Go’ tables with ceramic platters, mugs, vases, pitches, bowls, glass plates, art pieces, and other pieces for sale. People spent the event exploring these pieces by picking them up, looking at them and discussing them with other attendees.

All of these pieces were made and donated by Parkland faculty or students and are dishwasher, microwave and food safe.

“All of our mugs, items for sale, and silent auction pieces are made and generously donated,” said Lisa Costello, the director of the gallery. “It takes us two years for us to collect enough handmade cups to throw this fundraiser. So we start collecting them right after the sale and store them up for the next big event.”

Parkland faculty who had pieces shown included Chris Berti, Shawn Fairchild, Melinda McIntosh, and Laura O’Donnell. Art students with pieces shown included Ray Arseneau, Victor Feldman, Colleen Freund, Patricia Guthrie, Hiroko Ito, Clare Margiotta, Chad Myler, Ruta Rauber, Erin Rogers, June Volkening, and Linda Weiner.

All of the pieces made out of ceramic incorporated earthy colors, with blues, light greens, deep brown, and earthy orange reds being prominent in all of the pieces.

There was also live jazz music provided by Kevin Hart and the Vibe Tribe as well as coffee and desserts as advertised. Coffee was provided by Columbia Street Roastery, a local coffee roaster. Desserts were provided by Paula McCarty and Parkland’s hospitality program. Desserts included items such as lemon tarts, Christmas cookies, chocolate cake, biscotti, and more.

For those who missed the event, art pieces are often available for sale through the gallery. Contact information for the gallery can be found on their website,

“People are always welcome to contact the gallery if they would like to purchase some of the works that we have,” Costello said. “We typically keep some of them in the glass case in the gallery lounge. So if they go there they can see some of the cups and other pieces that are available.”

The gallery regularly has expeditions and fundraisers. A list of upcoming events can be found on their website under special events as well as on their social media platforms.

“We also have a variety of Art Expeditions that we coordinate through Community Education at Parkland and we take groups on day trips and occasionally overnight trips to art-related locations,” Costello said. “If people are interested in our events and activities, they are welcome to sign up for our email blasts and get the inside scoop! They just need to go to our website and sign up. They can also like us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.”