The friends of Jo Zakas are having an art sale.
The money from the sale will benefit Zakas’ foundation, which helps at-risk children and struggling adults that often are overlooked by other agencies.
Zakas, Clifton Square founder and entrepreneur, died in August after surgery to remove an aneurysm from her aorta. She was 75.
“She had her foundation for over 10 years and, in her will, wanted us to take her artwork and sell it to benefit the foundation,” said Cathy Feemster, president of the Jo Zakas Legacy foundation board of directors.
Feemster said the charities Zakas chose included two that were not well known: Legacy Ministries and Class.
Zakas was one of the founders of Happiness Plaza at 3555 E. Douglas and had a dress shop, Plaza Nine, there.
She grew up in the St. Joseph, Mo., area and was one of 17 children. She left home at age 13 to live with her grandmother. By the time she was 18, she was operating her own insurance agency.
“She had a unique personal history and really made a connection with the people she helped through the foundation,” Feemster said. “Being an entrepreneur, she knew that the right choices in life were so important. She was once in their position, and look what happened. She was a great role model for making right choices and was highly motivated to do better in your life and be successful.”
“Jo started the foundation primarily to help young people,” said Bob Bayer, a Wichita artist and one of her friends. “The money from the auction will go to the charities. Jo is such an inspiration to me in that she started out in life without much of a background. She didn’t have a silver spoon in her mouth.”
Bayer said most artwork at the April 18 sale will be priced in the range of $65 to $1,200. Some of it, Bayer said, is in her favorite colors: red and black.
The auction is open to the public.
“She was always good at merchandising and felt confidence in her work,” Bayer said. “She traveled the world, often by herself. She was her own woman and such an inspiration.”
More info on Jo Zakas auction
▪ The silent art auction begins at 5 p.m. on April 18 at Aero Plains Brewing, 117 N. Handley in Delano. There will be more than 100 pieces of artwork for sale, appetizers from Olive Tree Catering and music from the Friends University Jazz Trio.
▪ Members of the art sale committee – all volunteers – include Sally Andrews, Bob Bayer, Janice Brown, Helen Bullock, Donna Calbeck, Sheri Dill Claasen, Cathy Feemster, Steve and Genee Kubin, Rod and Krista Peterson, Pat Preboth, and Kent Wilson.
▪ The Jo Zakas Legacy Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit foundation. All donations are tax-deductible.