The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Carolyn Henderson
The Times 

Talk About Art


January 24, 2019

Artistically displayed food drive donations


That's how some people, in one word, encapsulate the month of January – it's cold and bleak, the holidays are over, and spring is maddeningly distant.

"What on earth could possibly be exciting about January?"

That's a good question, and at Wenaha Gallery, the answer every year is the Annual Canned Food Drive, with all the food brought into the gallery during . . . January donated to the Dayton Community Food Bank.

"When we started the Canned Food Drive at the gallery – it was ten years ago or more – we purposely chose January," says Pat Harri, who co-owns Wenaha Gallery with her husband, Ed.

"During the Christmas season there is so much focus on gift giving and celebration, that once you are over the seasonal holidays, people are almost burned out."

But helping our neighbors, the members of our community who are having a tough time, is not a seasonal affair, she adds. And especially because January is such a cold, bleak month, the canned food gifts brought into the gallery are significantly welcome. Gallery staff arranges and rearranges the offerings in a dynamic, constantly evolving sculpture, and at the end of the month, takes a photo of the collected largesse.

The ending amount consistently averages 500 pounds or more, gallery associate CJ Horlacher, who has participated in every canned food drive at the gallery since they began, reports.

And although donors receive a bonus for giving -- $2 off their custom framing order for each can donated, up to 20% off total – many receive as much enjoyment from donating as they do from the discount.

"I never cease to be amazed at the generosity of the people in this area," Harri says.

The 2019 Canned Food Drive at Wenaha Gallery runs through January 31, 2019. The gallery, located at 219 East Main in Dayton, is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.


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