Hoopeston natives, Matthew Parsons and Marie Parsons McCarty have teamed up with the Melanoma Research Foundation to present an art sale to raise money for the foundation.

Marie has battled melanoma over the past few years and the siblings worked together last year to present their first art sale fundraiser.

Parsons said they presented the first art sale last year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said Marie had gone through treatments for for melanoma and they decided they wanted to raise some money for melanoma research.

Marie is an art teacher at Fountain Central Jr./Sr. High School and has been running the art program at the school for several years.

Parsons said Marie reached out to several of her alumni art students who she remained close with and asked them to be a part of the art sale.

“We asked them to donate art to be a part of the sale,” he said. “We had a great turn out. We had about 25 pieces.”

Parsons praised the work the alumni did for the work and the support they showed Marie during her battle with melanoma.

Parsons said they also partnered with the Melanoma Research Foundation to present the sale.

Due to the pandemic, Parsons said, they couldn’t host anything in person for the sale and had to do everything online.

“We kind of got into uncharted territory, which was to do it online,” he said.

Parsons said the Melanoma Research Foundation handled a lot of the technical aspects of the sale.

“It worked out really well,” he said.

Parsons said they raised a little over $4,000 last year.

They decided to present another sale this year in order to continue to support research into melanoma.

Since the last sale, Parsons said, Marie decided to return to graduate school and work on earning a master’s degree in fine arts.

During that process, Parsons said, Marie started creating a variety of art pieces and came up with the theme for this year’s art sale “Small Steps to a Cure.”

Parsons said Marie has created about 20 pieces for sale and all are smaller pieces to go along with the theme.

Asked what types of art and themes the pieces for the sale will feature, Parsons said there will be a variety of different media and artistic styles for the art that will be on sale.

“They tell a little bit of a story about her journey over the past few years,” he said.

Parsons said all of the art pieces featured in this year’s sale will be created by Marie.

While her former students won’t have their work featured in this year’s sale, Parsons said that he feels they will be instrumental in helping get the word out about the sale on social media.

As part of this year’s contest, Parsons said, they presented a logo contest where they asked supporters on social media to send in ideas for logos for the contest.

Parsons said it was a way to get people excited and interested in this year’s sale.

The sale itself will run from July 23-Aug. 1.

Parsons said the goal for this year’s fundraiser is $5,000 and all proceeds will benefit the Melanoma Research Foundation.

He said he and Marie want to help the foundation make progress in melanoma research.

To learn more about the sale and to see some of the artwork that will be featured in it visit SUNBURNTS’ Small Steps to a Cure — 2021 on Facebook.

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