For over 20 years, The Sanibel-Captiva Art League has been painting Bailey's General Store grocery bags to raise money for local charity organizations on the island.
In their early beginnings, the group used to paint the grocery store's brown paper bags. Seven years ago, the Sanibel-Captiva Art League traded out the paper bags for "green" bags to use as their canvas instead.
"They're more permanent. Some people who buy them frame the artwork," said Jeannine Desmarais, co-chair of the Sanibel-Captiva Art League.
The Sanibel-Captiva Art League with their painted Bailey’s bags.
Desmarais said that 32 bags were auctioned off during the month of March at Bailey's General Store. About $2,085 was raised for F.I.S.H.
"Usually, we have between 30 or 40 volunteers. Everybody picks up a bag and has up to eight weeks to paint a subject on it. Then, the bags come back and then Bailey's will set them up in the store then we have a silent auction that lasts the whole month," Desmarais said. "The bags start at $20 then climb up. Two of our artists generated over $200 each."
Pat Baker, a member of the Sanibel-Captiva Art League said that the silent auction is an outreach to the community.
"It's becoming quite successful," Baker said.
Desmarais said a wide range of subjects were painted on each of the bags.
"It's really surprising what the artists pick as subjects and how well they execute it on a cloth bag. You have people who do oils on them, watercolor and acrylics. The subjects are varied. This year, we had a collage on one," Desmarais said. "When you look at it, it's like a mini exhibition of different styles and different subjects."
For more information on the Sanibel-Captiva Art League, go to sancapart.com.