Nixon's art to fund family

A STILL life painting by Coraki artist Jan Nixon will be the centrepiece of an art auction to be held at Casino tomorrow as a fundraiser for the family of cancer mum Shannon Wood, who died last month aged 26.

She is survived by her partner Joe Riley and four young children.

Ms Nixon, who previously owned a Sydney art gallery, donated the painting for a silent auction fundraiser for the Coraki Art Prize earlier this year.

It was won at that auction by Federal MP for Page Janelle Saffin, who now has donated the picture to support the Casino fundraiser.

The organiser of Saturday's event, Tony Hennessy of the Rotary Club of Casino, told The Northern Star there would be several fine paintings in the auction, which starts at 6pm at the Relihan Centre at St Mary's Catholic College.

"There's a lot of interest in it, and we'll have at least a dozen pieces to be auctioned," Mr Hennessy said yesterday.

"A local artisan will also be bringing in a hand-crafted wooden-framed mirror."

Mr Hennessy said the Saturday for Shannon event, which is co-organised by St Mary's and the Casino Art Group, would start early in the day with a garage sale-style market.

"The gates will open at 6.30am and anyone can come and set up a stall - first in, best position on the day," he said.

"We're hoping lots of people will bring anything that's legally saleable (except hot food, which Rotary will be selling) and set up a stall.

"The fee is just $20 for a stall for the day. We're expecting to see people bring garage sale items and new goods such as furniture, clothing and seasonal cakes, biscuits, puddings, jams and pickles.

"There will be an art exhibition and sale, raffles and a chocolate wheel.

"We were going to offer rides on a Harley-Davidson motorbike, but that won't go ahead if it's wet.

"However, the art auction certainly will go ahead and the markets can be held under cover if it rains."

People with goods to donate to the chocolate wheel, raffles or coin-toss are encouraged to see Bill Darragh at Darragh's Butchery, John Lane at the Barker St newsagency or Tony Hennessy at Michael Haywood's Physiotherapy.

Mr Hennessy, a physiotherapist who had a brief professional connection with Shannon, was moved to help her young family because he saw theirs as a story of real tragedy.

"Having travelled around many different parts of Australia through the Rotary Club, doing things for communities, I saw this family back in Casino who really need some help," he said.

"I guess I'm a citizen with a heart and seeing this family, I felt the community should do something."

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