PIEDMONT -- Artisans with a nesting instinct are busy crafting designer bird houses for the 11th annual Bird House Gala to raise funds for PAINTS (Promote Art in the Schools, Inc.)

PAINTS is a nonprofit parent organization committed to promoting and supporting visual arts in the Piedmont schools.

Every year, guests are treated to wine and appetizers, musical entertainment and live and silent auctions offering everything from bird houses to artful garden ceramics to pieces of fine art. Art students from Piedmont schools have created more than 100 pieces of garden art ranging from ceramic flowers to gnomes.

"This year's event offers a wider range of art than in previous years," said event publicist Lisa Scimens.

Sculptor John Abduljaam is donating a wood carving of parrots. Alex Hodgkinson has donated a chicken coop. Guests can bid on encaustics done by Lorna Strotz and Havens art teacher Katy Polvorosa.

Suzie Skugstad, art teacher at Wildwood school, is donating two giclee prints of whimsical bird art. Bird house gala creator and art teacher Karen Stanton, on sabbatical in Spain, is sending along two mosaics and two paintings for bid.

Other featured artists submitting their works for the auctions include Melanie Macy, Ron Morgan, Ken Rhoads and Raul Jorcino.

The student winners of this year's Leonard J. Waxdeck Bird Calling Contest will be on hand to reprise their winning calls that earned them a spot on the "Late Show with David Letterman" in April.


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A variety of sponsorships are still available to support the cause, ranging from $250 to $5,000. Thank you gifts to supporters range from complimentary gala tickets to PAINTS T-shirts, and signed fine art prints.

Since its inception in 1989, PAINTS has awarded more than $500,000 for arts education programs districtwide. Donations provide art supply stipends to teachers, grants for special arts projects, art educator grants for professional development and art events such as the chalk art festival and tri-school art show.

PAINTS is a registered nonprofit organization and donations are tax-deductible.

"As always, the Bird House Gala is a fun, wonderful event to help promote and fund arts in the schools," Scimens said.

if you go
What: PAINTS annual Bird House Gala
When: 5 to 7:30 p.m. May 30
Where: 83 Sea View Ave., Piedmont
Cost: $80 per person
Tickets or sponsorship: Call Betsy Lalli, 325-1405 or email bklalli@gmail.com
Details: www.piedmontpaints.org