Garden Tea, online auction new benefit for KSD

Published 7:35 am Tuesday, May 8, 2018

An informal afternoon tea and silent art auction will take place on the front lawn of Kentucky School for the Deaf’s historic Jacobs Hall, under the shade of wispy trees and white tents on May 19 to benefit the KSD Charitable Foundation and Jacobs Hall Museum.

“Danville Railyard” by Pat Williams

Money raised by the foundation will help support Danville KSD students because “funds are dwindling,” said Cliff Dunne, one of the tea’s organizers.

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JoAnn Hamm, a staff member at Jacobs Hall Museum who also is helping plan the tea, said the foundation uses its money for special projects — like the recent refurbishing the school’s indoor pool, sending students to the Mason Dixon games, and supports teachers’ special projects and programs they need for their students.

“Still life with Green Vase” by David Farmer

Unlike the foundation’s annual Christmas tea, the Garden Tea will only be held every other year and is much less formal. The spring tea will have a “Southern belle, ‘Derbyish’ feel to it,” Dunne said. 

Plus it just so happens to be the day of the royal wedding, Dunne said and laughed — so some people may enjoy celebrating the occasion at the tea.

To help raise money for the foundation and museum, there is an online auction taking place now through the day of the tea — May 19 — which features original artwork donated by area artists. Art pieces include not only paintings, but also pottery, fabric art, blown glass, books and hand-made blankets and throws. Items are up on a website now, at, and may be viewed and bid on by creating a free account. 

Hamm said this special website is only for non-profit organizations to use and will not release any information about individuals with auction site accounts.

People may continue bidding on their favorite pieces of artwork up until 3 p.m. the day of the tea. Tablets will even be available at several stations at Jacobs Hall for anyone to use in order to bid. And “technology people” will be on-hand to help the public vote if needed, Hamm said. 

She said several “talented and generous members” of Plein Air Artists of Central Kentucky and Gathering Artists have donated their art just for the event. They include Gaynella McGuire, Jacquie Woodward, Nancy Martindale, Lynda Ross, Pay Williams, Judy Schaefer, Tillie Sowders, David Farmer, Diane Reed, Roni Gilpin, Martha Robertson and Donna Forgacs.

Other artists include Dorothy and Bob Apple, Robert Lackey, Joni Morgan, David Gray, Julie Fall, Paul Sirimongkhon and Rebekah Lamey.


Hamm said being able to feature local artists is a way KSD can help support the “Art Local” campaign being spear-headed by the Community Arts Center.

To add to the excitement of the tea and silent auction, there will also be several pieces for sale during a live auction that aren’t featured on the auction’s website, Hamm said.

Guests can listen to piano music played on the front porch of Jacobs Hall while sipping on iced tea and nibbling on sweets and savories, Dunne said. 

Four professional Danville caterers and two individuals will be serving their specialties buffet style on the front lawn. Each table will be decorated with fresh floral arrangements created by members of the Garden Club of Danville in china tea pots.

Jacobs Hall may be the most iconic building on KSD’s campus, Dunne said. But many local residents think it’s “A mystery place in Danville.”

He said they hope this informal garden tea will help them “break the barrier of being on KSD campus… Enjoy the food, refreshing atmosphere and appreciate the building.”