Comedians boost local art auction

Ellen Helmke reviews donated works for Adsum's Mystery Art Sale.

Ellen Helmke reviews donated works for Adsum's Mystery Art Sale.

Artwork by comedians Rick Mercer and Phyllis Diller shared some wall space Thursday night at the Agricola Street café FRED.

The two gagsters were among dozens who donated 5×7-inch paintings and photos to a mystery auction benefitting a woman’s housing charity.

“We got a 118 pieces of art, which is great,” said Ellen Helmke, director of development at Adsum for Women and Children.

About 200 people showed up and many forked out $100 to buy a painting. The catch was they chose the artwork without first knowing the artist.

Helmke said Diller was approached for a donation because the entertainer was once briefly homeless. The 91-year-old Golden Globe-nominated comedian donated two pieces to the event.

Organizers also approached professional and emerging Nova Scotia artists. They hit their target of 100 paintings in the final week before the event.

“We were saying, ‘Keep looking for art, keep looking for art,” said Helmke.

A Peggy’s Cove art group came to the rescue.

“They produced 13 paintings, so that put us over the edge.”

Adsum provides emergency shelter and affordable living spaces for women without housing. The charity aimed to raise $15,000 with the event.

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