For two years, Gulfport-based artist Jane Bunker painted nothing but full-color lilies.
On March 9, at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, 2240 9th Ave. S., Bunker’s oil paintings raised $32,400 that will be donated solely to the Woodson Warriors Scholarship Fund for St. Petersburg African American College-Bound Youth.
“I knew from the very beginning, I wanted to do something for the youth,” Bunker said. “Everything I painted, I just knew it was going to be part of the project.”
The Woodson Warriors scholarship bloomed into existence two years ago when Terri Lipsey Scott, the executive director of the museum got together with Bunker to create a fund that honored Scott’s deceased mother, as well as the community.
“This scholarship is a little different from most because it’s geared at kids that are left out of the mix,” Scott said. “Most scholarships are looking for students with a 3.0 GPA or higher; we’re looking for youth with a greater sense of purpose.”
The lily auction was the first official fundraiser for the scholarship, and exceeded Bunker’s expectations by soaring over $30,000, with an expected rise in purchases.
“The beauty is that there are still a few pieces that remain at the museum, or home, as I like to say,” Scott said. “Those will stay until the end of April.”
With an average of about $1,000 to nearly $3,000 a piece, there are still nine pieces left of the 21-original works, which are available for purchase throughout March and April.
According to Bunker, her inspiration for the collection sprouted from the 2016 national election, when President Donald Trump was sworn in.
“I needed a little uplifting and peace after that,” Bunker said. “I’d never done anything like this – mainly landscapes – but the rhythm and curves of the lilies feel like a woman’s body to me.”