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Photo Credit: Carol Tedesco

Earlier this year, the Board of Directors of the Anne McKee Artists Fund honored artist William Welch for his exceptional, continuing contribution to the arts community in the Florida Keys and presented William with the Miriam B. Good Award and a special palette to commemorate the occasion. Mr. Welch is a gifted water colorist and oil painter with international recognition. From miniature watercolor scenes of extreme fine detail to large and expressive oil murals and screens, his style evokes the romance of color and light in the true impressionist’s spirit.

Miriam B. Good was an early Board member for the Anne McKee Artists Fund. Her daughter Catherine Duncan has been a volunteer “Vanna” for many years. Miriam had such enthusiasm for art and the mission of the Fund. She invited Jim Salem to teach classes at the Sugarloaf Lodge for many years. Because of Miriam and Jim, we now have many talented artists that live up the Keys and donate back to the art auction each year. Several years ago, the Board wanted to honor other artists that have helped in the same way as Miriam and the Miriam B. Good Award for extraordinary dedication to the Anne McKee Artist Fund was started in 2009. Such notable artists in recent years have been Sal Salinero and Jim Salem.

In William’s own word: “It was in 1994 that the first auction for art with the Anne McKee Fund was held. I thought at the time that it was a fantastic idea; it helped up and coming artists with projects and expenses through grants and financial resources, and it was unique in that the artists who donated were going to receive up to 50% of the prices! “

From the very first auction, and ever since, his beautiful work had been a cornerstone garnering top prices for the fund and helping build its reputation. A few years ago, a piece in oil “Afternoon at the Armory” fetched a record $7,500 for the organization. His generosity with his time, his art and his mentoring of other artists in emblematic of what the fund stands for – Artists helping Artists.

Says Welch, “I continue to believe that the McKee Fund provides unique opportunities to offer the best of our local artists’ work to an eager and supportive public, while giving back to the artists who donate and artists who receive the grant benefits. I hope it continues to be part of our Conch Community for a long time! Brava Anne and all the hard workers. This is my contribution. It’s a gift to pass on to help worthwhile causes, because my art is a gift to me. “

For more information about the Anne McKee Artists Fund and its annual auction and artist grants, visit www.MckeeFund.org.

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