Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Riley Home Christmas

Brigette Jones from the Riley Home spoke to Kiwanis. She brought books and told history about J.W. Riley’s friend Will Vawter. Will was much younger than Riley but Riley met him when he moved to Greenfield as a young boy. Riley, a sign painter himself, noticed Will’s artistic talent and was very impressed. Will eventually did illustrations for some of Riley’s books. Will was born in 1871 in West Virginia but moved to Greenfield when he was six years old. He loved to paint and was a self taught artist. He did magazine illustration and therefore was not a starving artist. He became interested in oil painting and painted in an impressionistic style using a palette knife which applied the paint thickly to the canvas. He eventually moved to Brown County to join a colony of artists there. Today Will’s paintings are valued at over $10,000 each and some have sold for more. Will Vawter is buried in Park Cemetery.

Gwen Betor from the Riley Home also invited the public to “A Storybook Christmas at the Riley Home 1863” to be Saturday, December 4, and Saturday, December 11 with tours from 5:00-8:00 PM. Storytellers in period costume will tell tales of Riley’s boyhood chums & their adventures. Entertainers will provide Christmas music of the era. Contact Parks & Recreation for registration. Cost is $4 per adult and $1.25 per child.

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Greenfield Kiwanians perform service projects to help people and organizations. We also perform service projects to raise funds to support Riley Children's Hospital and many local charities.