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WPTV anchor Ashleigh Walters auctioning off painting to help our neighbors

Ashleigh Walters holds glass of orange juice next to orange juice painting
Posted at 4:42 AM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-21 10:07:49-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A painting by artist and WPTV NewsChannel 5 anchorwoman Ashleigh Walters is up for auction to benefit the WPTV Food for Families drive.

The painting is 36-by-36 in acrylic, completed in November 2020. It depicts shelves of a Publix grocery store in the orange juice section, showcasing several brands, many of which are produced in Florida.

BID NOW: CALL 561-237-5222 or CLICK HERE Bid Page with Market Auctions Inc.

The auction is live now and will end December 2, 2020. Market Auctions Inc. is waiving fees and matching the highest bid with a donation up to $1500.

While the auction is underway, you can see the painting in person at 500 N. Dixie Highway in Lake Worth, in the home of Market Auctions, Inc. at the Palm Beach Art, Antique & Design Showroom. The companies are graciously donating the use of their space, time and resources to showcase the painting in a beautiful setting and auction the piece professionally.

Walters believes this was the perfect painting to complete and share during the pandemic, as it shows the Florida citrus industry which employs tens of thousands of people, a juice packed with vitamin C for health, and full grocery shelves that nod to what could be considered a more "normal" time, when items are easy to find.

The painting has been featured as part of a cover story in West Palm Beach Magazine , and in a collaborative mural displayed by the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County by artist Sharon Koskoff entitled “Alone Together: A Coronavirus Crisis Collage.” While Walters anchored morning newscasts for 6 months, broadcasting from her home art studio, she placed a different painting behind her each day. With 93 different backgrounds in total, the orange juice painting appeared behind her several times during its evolution. It always elicited and comments from viewers.

Walters graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Bachelor of Arts, Fine Arts with an emphasis in painting, in addition to her degree in Broadcast News Journalism and her minor in Business. She paints most often in acrylic. This particular piece is part of her grocery store series, in which she has captured various store aisles, each of which play a different role in the surrounding community’s life. Walters’ artwork has been featured in multiple local and statewide publications.

Walters challenged others to join her during the pandemic in creating artwork while staying socially distant. She started the #StayHomeMakeArtChallenge in March, 2020, and vowed to help the local community in some way through her art. Thousands of viewers joined the conversation, many of them creating and sharing pieces of their own.

"I challenge you to create something beautiful out of this very difficult time," she said in March, broadcasting live on Facebook in front of the orange juice painting in progress. "And also to consider how that piece of art might someday be something to benefit your local community and the need that we will see in coming weeks or months."

The money raised from the auction will all go directly to help feed individuals and families in local South Florida communities. For decades, WPTV has celebrated the generosity of viewers who have stepped up to donate to its annual Bill Brooks Food for Families food drive. This year the community’s generosity is particularly important. The need for food is unprecedented right now, magnified by issues stemming from the pandemic. Last year, it was estimated that 1 in 8 people struggled with food insecurity, and 1 in 5 children. Those numbers have grown dramatically in 2020. Food banks have been strained to keep up with demand.

If the highest bidder is in WPTV's five-county viewing area of Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Okeechobee or Indian River counties, Walters vows to deliver the painting to them personally, safely and socially distanced.

Here's how you donate!

Text "food4families" to 41444 to donate any amount or call 561-364-3245 on Nov. 5, 12 and 19.

Or follow this link to donate online.

The next in-person food donation will be held at Seacoast Bank, 12796 Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington, 33414