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Legal community volunteers make jewelry for VLSP auction

Studio 34 Creative Arts Center on Elton Street was buzzing with creativity on Aug. 11 as nearly 40 volunteers gathered to help Volunteer Legal Services Project, Inc. enhance the inventory for the upcoming Art of Lawyering fundraising auction scheduled to open on Oct. 6. Studio owner Marilynne Lipshutz was instrumental in lining up instructors to help the participants.

Three different work areas offered materials and instruction for beading (necklaces, bracelets), earring-making, and glass fusion (pendants, pins, ornaments). By the end of the evening, 70 items had been created and donated to VLSP for the upcoming auction.

Many of the participants had experience from a similar initiative in 2009 – the last time VLSP held its Art of Lawyering event. Lots of the jewelry-making supplies were collected through a jewelry drive earlier this summer, and Anne Marie Short from Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP sorted and cleaned boxes and bags of donated beads to get ready for the event.

To help offset miscellaneous costs, volunteers were asked to donate $5 at the door.

“Who could object to that?” said Kari Smoker, president of the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys. “We had a nice spread of food and beverages, a great social atmosphere, the option to learn about different jewelry-making techniques, and an opportunity to be creative – all for a great cause.”

Food was donated by Christopher’s and The Gate House.

The Art of Lawyering auction will offer many items besides jewelry – painting, pottery, photography, wood sculpture, metal sculpture, fabric creations, and much more. VLSP Pro Bono Coordinator Linda Kostin is seeking additional donations of art created by members of the legal community and their extended families.

For more information, call (585) 295-5703. Mark your calendar for the opening reception on Oct. 6 at 5:30 p.m. at the VLSP offices, 1 West Main St., fifth floor.

Photos courtesy of Nora A. Jones

Selecting beads for their project are Natella Reinstein, Melanie Wolk, Cathy Tobin and Laura Taylor.

Volunteer jewelry instructor Paulie Gajewski helps put the clasp on a black and white bead necklace created by Yantis Fulton, a paralegal studies graduate. (Far left, Allison Kittelberger, VLSP summer intern.)

Deborah Indivino, devoted family law advocate for VLSP, holds up a crystal beaded earring she just completed.

Connie Walker pauses to admire her work involving fusing pieces of glass together.

Alana Archer of Hiscock & Barclay shows off her finished necklace.

Karla Wilsey (center) is part of the VLSP Art of Lawyering committee; here she chats with Audrey Peartree, president-elect of the Foundation of the Monroe County Bar, and Bryan Hetherington, MCBA president.