You never know whom you’ll encounter when you visit the soothing mineral waters at Symes Hot Springs Resort, located in Hot Springs in Sanders County, or to go there for art-related events.
One of those personalities is Martha “The Great.” Her actual name is Martha Snyder. She is a “colorful” lady, judging by her attire during the Hot Springs Artists Society (HSAC) annual Silent Art Auction, featuring wine, cheese and chocolate tasting, last Saturday evening, Nov. 10 at Symes Hot Springs.
Martha perused the variety of offerings for the silent auction, most of which was original work by local artisans, and visited the cheese and wine tasting tables. She said she now lives in Hot Springs “full time.” She had been “snowbirding” in Arizona in the winter, but recently sold her home down south.
“I love Hot Springs. It seems that everything changes, but not Hot Springs,” Martha said, explaining that the peacefulness and serenity — and friendly residents — are unsurpassed.
Martha is so well know that a photo of her wearing colorful clothing (such as a “bling” western hat) is on a postcard at Symes. “They’ve sold more than 400 of them!” she said Saturday night during the Hot Springs Artists Society event.
Visiting Symes Hot Springs from Palouse, Wash., were John and Chris Bolenkamp, who are both teachers. It was their first time at the resort. After a soak in the mineral water, the couple took in the Artists Society fundraiser.
THE EVENING featured a raffle with more than 20 items given away during periodic drawings — including artwork, gift certificates and a basket of “goodies.”
Kendahl Jan Jub, who has art studio in Missoula, was the featured artist for the gala. It was her first time at Hot Springs for an art event, and she showed her painting, “Vibrant Paintbrush,” which is a watercolor on canvas.
Kathryn McEnery came in from Deer Lodge to serve wine samples, along with Paul Stetler of Hot Springs, while society member Charlie Scott served cheese samples.
Hot Springs Artists Society member and event organizer Leslie Smith told those attending the gala that the society was formed in 1997, and it hosts photography and artwork shows each year.
Smith said that about $2,500 was raised in the silent auction during the artists society event, with earning totals for the cheese and wine tasting yet to come.
Net proceeds from the event go into the HSAC general fund. The money is used for the operating budget, and to fund art shows and the annual all-school performance of the Missoula Children’s Theatre in Hot Springs.
“It’s really important for us to have the opportunity,” Smith said of hosting the popular theatre.
NOTE: See more photos from the silent auction online at www.vp-mi.com.