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Painting Peonies for the Indiana First Lady In 2001 the Indiana World Organization of China Painters presented a set of hand painted china to the Indiana Governor’s residence. This set of china was painted with different Indiana wildflowers. From this gift the 2014 project came to “flower”. Indiana First Lady Karen Pence so loved this set of china that when she decided to hold a fund raiserfor the newly formed Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation she enlisted the talents of the Indiana china painters to help her.  

The project of painting 150 bowls with the Indiana state flower of the peony began October of 2013 with a kick-off paint in held at the Art Sanctuary in Martinsville, Indiana. Nearly 40 artists attended the daylong instructional session with special paintings and inspiration from Indiana artist Douglas David. Indiana WOCP members from throughout the state painted these presentation bowls of their own composition with a specific color palette chosen by Mrs. Pence and her committee. Each bowl was finished with a specially designed decal designating the “Indiana First Lady’s Luncheon 2014” was placed inside the bowl. Each artist signed their artwork on the outside of the bowl as well as their name, club affiliation and their city on the bottom. 

The end result was culminated with a public viewing reception at The Art Sanctuary on April 7, 2014 and the formal acceptance of the project by Mrs. Pence on April 8. The Indiana First Lady Karen Pence is herself an artist and she presented each painter with a signed print of a peony painting that she had done as a thank you. The project was completed with the talents of 80 of the Indiana WOCP artists. The finale’ came on April 30 when the Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation held its inaugural luncheon at the J. B. Marriott in Indianapolis. Over 600 people were in attendance to see the bowls displayed as centerpieces on the tables. These works of art were then sold to as part of the fund raiser for the Riley Children’s Hospital Art Therapy Program. The foundation presented a check to the Riley program for $100,000 . 

The Indiana artists were thrilled to have porcelain chosen to be showcased as the art form for this important function. This afforded so many people at the various public receptions and the luncheon to see fine hand painted porcelain and have the opportunity to talk and meet the artists who created it. As porcelain artists we need to be aware of every opportunity to present a program, demonstration or exhibit no matter how small to expose and educate the public about our art. Through understanding comes appreciation. In addition to the artists we would like to thank the following for their efforts in making this come to be. There were many hours of orchestration, final preparations and firing by Barbara Bougher, Helen Hammond, Gerry Dunkin, Betty Ward, Carolyn Jung, Debbie Queary, Sherry Hoefling, Ellen Wilson-Pruitt, Regina Vandivier, Leanna Sherman, Phyllis Gladden, Helene Reyburn, Tammy Anderson, Frank Gladden, Douglas David, CJ Laster, Maryland China and the Art Sanctuary. A complete file of all the photos of the project from start to the finish of the luncheon may be found by going to: 

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