By Dale King
Ingrid Robinson has an adage that directs her life: “Go big – or go home.”
Barely a year ago, the recently resettled resident of Kings Point in Delray Beach launched Artists and Charities Hand in Hand, an effort to link fine artisans with collectors and connoisseurs to raise money for charities.
She’s already held two shows – and they were such successes that she reached out and hired the Palm Beach County Convention Center for a massive spectacle this weekend, Nov. 2-3.
“Our mission is to partner worthwhile charities with talented artists to collectively share the joy of art and culture with as many people as we can,” said Robinson.
“Let’s face it. A lot of artists struggle to earn a living even though they have such incredible talent. And so many nonprofits are in need of important funds to continue their mission in the community. So, if this event can help both groups achieve some of those goals, I’d say it’s a grand slam home run.”
The weekend art show and fundraiser has now confirmed nearly 100 fine artists from across the U.S. will showcase their works in photography, painting, mixed media and sculpture, among other genres.
Twenty percent of all art sales this weekend will be donated to three West Palm Beach-based nonprofits: Armory Art Center, Dreyfoos School of the Arts Foundation and Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League. Though admission is free, a suggested contribution of $10 per person will also be distributed evenly among the beneficiaries. Those who contribute will receive a special swag bag.
One of the art creators coming to the Convention Center is Manuel Oliver, father of Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Joaquin Oliver, one of the 17 people killed by a gunman in the Valentine’s Day shooting at the school in 2018. He will present a live demonstration of his passion for painting during Saturday’s exhibition hours.
Robinson has developed a kinship with Oliver. Like him, she has also lost a child to misfortune. But she was also duped in a housing scheme that deprived her of the California residence she had called home for 40 years.
Life was going fairly well for Robinson, a legal investigator and marriage counselor early in life. Married, then soon divorced, to the newly single mom, her daughter, Michelle, was the love of her life.
At age 28 – in 1998 – her daughter died of a drug overdose. “She got a bad batch” of narcotics, said Robinson, whose grief is still fresh 21 years later.
Robinson set out to build a mixed-use project to honor her daughter. But a schemer bilked her out of the money earmarked for the proposal.
Financial woes didn’t end there. Robinson lost her California home due to a different type of fraud where third parties take over titles to houses and force real owners out. “I didn’t want to leave California,” she said. “My daughter is buried there. I felt I had to stay.”
But she lost the home in a scheme she said was legal, but had tripped up innumerable seniors.
“I got kicked out of the home I had lived in for nearly 40 years.” She donated her possessions to victims of California fires, packed up her two dogs, Ace and Clint, along with one painting of her daughter and wound up in South Florida where a snowbird friend suggested she move to Kings Point.
The woman whose luck had practically run out got a last-minute reprieve. The Kings Point clubhouse had an art room – and she soon found – at the tender age of 71 – that she had a knack for creating pictures on canvas. Her charming oil paintings gained such popularity that it wasn’t long before she was commissioned to create 20 works for a gallery in Delray Beach.
Late in 2018, Robinson launched the Artists and Charities program as a way to help creators of art objects showcase and sell their work in a professional fine art show setting, partnering with nonprofits in support of their necessary work.
She said the organization was founded with her daughter in mind, as Robinson wanted to “shine a light” on the many positive ways art can help people truly heal.
The Artists and Charities Hand in Hand Fine Art Show will be held Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 2-3, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, 650 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. Admission is free, though a $10 donation may be asked. For more information, visit www.artistsandcharities.com.