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Artopia Returns To In-Person Event And Packs The Civic Center Exhibit Hall

Several paintings and drawings are displayed on a table with a black table cloth.
Tom Flanigan
A tiny sample of the paintings, drawings, sculptures and other artistic creations up for bid at Artopia.

The pandemic forced last year's Artopia to benefit Big Bend Cares online. But this year's fundraiser filled the Donald L. Tucker exhibit hall with artwork and art buyers. Stan Kahn II is Big Bend Cares board president.

"Being able to see the pieces in person really makes a difference in your connection with that piece. We made it work online last year, but this year back in person really gives us that opportunity to connect with those pieces and hopefully take quite a few home with them," he said, adding it was gratifying to see how the event had grown almost exponentially in the 10-years he's been on the organization's board.

"When I started we were at the Turnbull Center and (it's been) growing every year. This year we had almost 500 different pieces donated, a record year for us. It really shows how much people care about Carepoint and Big Bend Cares and our mission to fulfill the needs of Tallahassee and really brings a sense of worth to all of our patients at Big Bend Cares and Carepoint Health & Wellness."

The art was donated by the region's most recognized artists and then offered for bid. There were also non-art silent auction items. The event is a primary source of funds for Big Bend Cares.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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