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Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County's 5th Annual Farm to Table(aux) Goes Virtual

Featuring Norman Rockwell, America's Illustrator

"I unconsciously decided that, even if it wasn't an ideal world, it should be so and painted only in the ideal aspect of it…" says Norman Rockwell, American painter and illustrator. 

The 5th annual Farm to Table(aux) fundraising event benefitting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County (BGCKC) is going virtual on Friday, October 9 at 6:30 p.m. and will feature America's illustrator Norman Rockwell. 

Farm to Table(aux) has been a premier experience since its inception in 2016, known for its fresh local foods, artworks created by kids that attend the Clubs, silent auction, raffle items, and an exciting live auction. A free registration option is available to anyone from September 30 through October 9 at www.event.gives/farmtotableauxbako.

Although a virtual format requires some logistical maneuvering, Zane Smith, executive director of BGCKC, says all the unique elements will remain intact, including culinary options from Lisa Borda Petit Catering available to the sponsors and VIP ticket holders. Smith, along with his wife, Amy, friends, and event artists will be having a DIY viewing party at the Bakersfield Museum of Art, while maintaining safe and social distancing guidelines. 

"Virtual fundraising is so different, but I am confident that our team can do this. We have had 4 ˝ months of training and had tickets to other virtual events to see what was working and what wasn't working," Smith says. "I love to see the generous spirit that comes into play in support of our kids."

The night will consist of a live streaming feed showing the artistry behind the event, with some video-taped segments featuring Club members. At a production studio, actors and artists will be acting out four different tableaux vivants representing Norman Rockwell's famous cover illustrations from The Saturday Evening Post magazine. Also, participants will be able to bid on trips, virtual cooking classes, Kidz Art, and incredible silent auction items through the online event website. 

The Club members from the Kidz Art program have been working really hard to have their personal art ready for the event. The 35 pieces for sale are influenced by Norman Rockwell's Americana style and the 1940s/50s era include landscapes, cows, farmhouses, pigs, and a pastel horse signature painting entitled "Happy Horse," by 15-year-old Lordes. 

During the night, taped segments will include two musical numbers by Club members from the performing group, Music Fusion. They will perform "For Good," from the Broadway musical Wicked, and "Celebration," from Kool and The Gang. 

Smith enjoys seeing the Club members put in so much time and effort for this event. "I feel amazed that a 15-year-old can do this and be inspired to create this art and then donate back to their own program," he says. 

Smith says seeing the art come to life is one of his favorite parts of the event. The four tableaux vivants of Norman Rockwell's cover illustrations from The Saturday Evening Post magazine include his Triple Self-portrait, 1960; Rosie the Riveter, 1943; The Runaway, 1958; and Girl at the Mirror, 1954. Each living painting is done by individual local artists and styled by Cat Web. 

As featured on KCFM's cover this month, Rosie the Riveter, played by actress Charlotte Smith, who also happens to be Zane Smith's daughter, is in perfect character showing American pride and ingenuity. She will be donning this persona again during the event to present the live painting by Belinda Rickett. 


Charlotte felt strong posing as Rosie and was so happy with how it turned out. "It was amazing," she says. "I felt strong in posing like that and representing her, especially right now when women's independence is such a huge thing. And with the Boys & Girls Club, I loved representing her as a role model because that is so important to the kids." 

The Runaway will feature a perfectly detailed soda fountain complete with actors playing the police officer and little boy. This painting features art by Jesus Fidel. The live production of Girl at the Mirror will showcase a little girl with art by Taya Marroquin. 

Another live painting is one of the most famous self-portraits in American art, Triple Self-Portrait, and features a Norman Rockwell look-a-like actor with a painting by Marj Dow. This cover was the first time the artist put his likeness on the magazine's cover in a capacity other than just as a cameo.

Benefitting the BGCKC, this event helps cover costs for 92 percent of the 8,000 Club members that participate in programs daily. With 63 Clubs and school sites in Arvin, Bakersfield, Frazier Park, Lake Isabella, Lamont, Shafter, and Wasco, the Club provides services and programs to benefit the growth and success of the country's future leaders. 

For more information, please visit www.bgclubsofkerncounty.org or for sponsorship information, contact Kayla Nelson at knelson@bgclubsofkerncounty.org.

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