Traverse City Record-Eagle

March 1, 2013

Gala, showing for Goodwill Reinvention Convention

By CYMBRE FOSTER Special to the Record-Eagle
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — When Julie Murray went to the Goodwill retail store looking for inspiration to create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece for this week’s Goodwill Reinvention Convention, she had no idea what she was looking for.

Until she saw a small group of recently donated mannequins.

“They were calling to me,” said the artist, who has participated in the event for the past two years.

Murray is one of many local artists who took $30 in Goodwill bucks and headed to the store to find donated items that they could repurpose into an original work of art.

“It could be anything,” said Lilly Nowicki, event coordinator. “A belt, a couch, a T-shirt and then take it and repurpose it into a piece of art.”

She said it’s fun to see what people come up with.

“You really get a mixture and you can tell some people do art projects all year long, while others aren’t artists at all but think it will be a lot of fun,” said Nowicki.

The resulting objets d’art will be displayed at the third annual Goodwill Reinvention Convention public show and sale that runs today and Saturday. The two-day event kicks off tonight with the Reinvention Convention Gala Event at 201 E. Front St. at the corner of Cass in downtown Traverse City

For $30, guests will have an opportunity to meet the artists, preview their works and purchase and vote on the reinvented pieces. They’ll also be able to sample wine and food from Goodwill’s Helping Hands Kitchen.

Cindy Hardy said she was “absolutely clueless” when she and Beth Hoffman first walked through the doors of the Goodwill store.

“We grabbed a cart and started walking up and down the aisles and then we saw the golf bag,” said Hardy who owns Lilies of the Alley in Traverse City. Then they found a lamp and three golf clubs, which they’ve morphed into a funky working lamp.

Once pieces are complete, artists posted them on the Goodwill website,, where anyone is welcome to vote for their favorites. Each vote costs $1 when purchased at the Goodwill office or online, with a minimum of $10. The proceeds from the gala, art sale and votes will go to various Goodwill programs.

As for Murray, after much deliberation, she decided to paint her mannequin in vibrant colors.

“She doesn’t have any head, feet or arms so she has to make up for it,” she joked. “She’s very flamboyant.”

Tickets for tonight’s Gala are available at Goodwill’s main office in Traverse City, 2279 S. Airport Rd. W., online at or at the door. The Reinvention Convention Gallery will be open to the public Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

To vote or preview works of art or for further information visit the Goodwill website or call Nowicki at 995-7742.