BISBEE — Each year the Bisbee Women’s Club hosts its annual benefit auction of art chairs and tables, paintings and crafts, and this year’s assemblage on the 20th anniversary of the event will not disappoint.
On Thursday, the clubhouse was already starting to fill up as artists dropped off their works. Unique paintings lined the tables and several art chairs and furniture items were displayed featuring some of Bisbee’s best artists.
Judy Perry donated a beautiful table painted with one of her classic Bisbee views.
Barry Smith once again graces the auction with his take on “It’s 5 o’clock Somewhere,” a beer bench made from pallets and several different clocks all set to 5 p.m., of course.
Carolyn Crane, BWC member, laughed, “He’s been donating to us for years, and it always has a beer theme.”
Charlie “OneHorse” Hill took an old cabinet and created a one of a kind baby changing station adorned with Native American art.
A tiny chair made of tumbleweed, yes, you heard that right, crafted by Walter Husbands are new to the auction. He takes those pesky, prickly plants and turns them into beautiful pieces of art and jewelry.
Though there is no traditional home tour this year, a neighbor across the way from the clubhouse agreed to let people tour his home on Quality Hill. Built in 1915, it is a smaller home that is well-positioned with excellent views of Castle Rock and downtown Old Bisbee. In 2010, the previous owners completely remodeled it with care, maintaining the character of the time with original rooflines and interior ceiling heights. The interior has natural materials and finishes, often reused from the original home.
Last year there was no tour either due to the COVID–19 virus.
“We wanted to be careful last year, so we held off on it. And, we’re doing that again this year,” said Crane.
The pandemic has impacted the nonprofit organization’s fundraising abilities for its missions. For the past 40 years, the club brought national and international talent to town through the music series “For the Love of Music.” Performances run from October to May, but for the past two years, the venue has been closed.
Their fundraising efforts support upkeep on the clubhouse, scholarships for local high school graduates and small grants for local nonprofits and athletics, as well. So, the hope is the money raised from the weekend event will bring in some much needed revenue.
Since 1899, the BWC has encouraged women to further their education, improve their skills, expand their rights and apply their abilities and special sensitivities to the community’s problems.
In 1901, the club was the first in Arizona to become a member of the Federated Woman’s Clubs and has the distinction of owning the first woman’s clubhouse building in Arizona. It is a humble one story, frame clapboard-sided bungalow built in the Craftsman style which was converted into a main hall with a stage and baby grand piano, two ante rooms, a kitchen and a restroom.
The land was fully deeded to the women by the mining company, and a mortgage was secured after 26 members of the club marched in unison to the local bank to sign the loan. The loan was paid off through fundraising events.
The total cost of the building was $2,805.95.