LaGrange Symphony Orchestra Painted Strings auction underway

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 1, 2015

By Tyler H. Jones

Local artist Melinda Claire’s painted violin is currently being auctioned by the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra Guild. artist Melinda Claire’s painted violin is currently being auctioned by the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra Guild.

LaGRANGE — The LaGrange Symphony Orchestra Guild is continuing its efforts to raise funds for educational programs ahead of the symphony’s 2015-2016 season opening concert Tuesday.

The guild is auctioning colorfully painted instruments that were once used to teach students strings at West Side Magnet School. The bidding is being conducted online in three rounds, according to Dorothy Cammon, a retired educator and member of the symphony guild.

“We started out with 12 instruments, the first one was sold at the live action at the My Favorite Things (guild fundraising) luncheon,” Cammon said. “The other 11 are being sold online; we divided them up into groups that correspond with the upcoming symphony concerts. We have four that are online for bid for next Tuesday’s concert, and then three that close on on the concert November 3rd, and three more that close on December 15th.”

The proceeds from the sale of the instruments help pay for LSO summer camps for children, private after-school lessons for students in the school system, the LaGrange Youth Symphony Orchestra and other educational programs for kids.

Cammon explained that when West Side Magnet School closed, there were several instruments that were irreparable and the school system donated them to the LSO.

“They eventually ended up on 809 Gallery (of Art) on Hill Street,” Cammon said. Local artists and operators of the gallery, Chris and Pepper Hagebak “thought someone could use them to make money for the symphony, so they had some local artists paint them to sell them.”

In all, 11 local artists contributed to the Painted Strings project.

The artwork can be viewed online at or by visiting the Cochran Gallery, 4 E. Lafayette Square in LaGrange. After Tuesday’s opening LSO concert, the remaining pieces will be moved to the offices of, 37 S. Lafayette Square in LaGrange.

As of this morning, the four painted instruments now on auction until Tuesday had bids totaling nearly $1,000. The highest-fetching item was a painted violin by local artist Melinda Claire, bidded at $300.

Bidding ends 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Tyler H. Jones is a reporter at LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2155.