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Butterflies Take Off at The Art Center

Silent auction sends sculpted insects into the wild as organizers praise fundraiser turnout.

After summer months of outdoor display downtown Highland Park, nearly all of the 27 giant butterfly sculptures, crafted by local artists for Project Butterfly, sold last Friday night at  (TAC) Highland Park silent auction.

According to TAC management, more than 100 people from Highland Park and surrounding suburbs, as well as many of the artists, attended the , which also featured wine and food, live poetry readings, jazz, a caricaturist and lively conversation.

“Amazing, amazing,” Jackie Chilow, who oversees events and venues for TAC, said of the turnout. “We had young–from 5-year-old poets to high school students--to seniors from our community.”

Butterflies sold from $100 to as much as $2,500.

“The night was outstanding," said TAC Board President . "We are thrilled not only with the turnout but that they came with their checkbooks open, contributed to making the sale of the butterflies a huge success and in making sure the arts continue to be alive and well in Highland Park.”

While the total funds raised have not yet been tallied, Chilow guesses it was probably more than $10,000. Fifty percent of the money raised went to TAC and the other half went to the artists. Some artists donated the money back to the center.

, of Hillco Realty, coordinated the sponsorship by the merchants of downtown Highland Park, and sponsored the event as well.

“Nothing’s been more fun than this. It’s been a blast. Working with the artists–the talent that they have–it’s just wonderful that we have this skill level in Highland Park, that includes the young people as well,” said Larry Hillman. “It brought some great beauty and interest in downtown Highland Park.”

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