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Community Spotlight: Hutchinson Center Benefit


For almost a quarter-century, this annual gala, presented by the Margaret E. Martindale Guild of Bellevue, has raised money for the Hutch School and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center survivorship program while also raising the spirits of those affected by the scourge of cancer. This year, the $125 ticket ensures a “Big Easy”-themed evening of hors d’oeuvres, dinner and live entertainment, as well as the opportunity to bid on various adventures. The greatest adventure on the auction block, though, will likely be the portrait sitting with Tacoma artist Robbi Firestone.

The victorious bidder – or a fortunate friend – will sit for one of Firestone’s stunning Spirit Capture portraits, through which the artist seeks to reveal “the divine beauty within you.” To achieve this, Firestone brings her experience from the spiritual realm (as a Reiki and licensed spiritual practitioner) as well as the aesthetic realm (she studied at Parsons School of Design and Fashion Institute of Technology) to her oil portraiture.

It all starts with a consultation in which Firestone interviews her subject to discover life goals and passions that remain hidden from the outside world. From this meeting, she creates a personalized “spirit capture letter,” in which all of her observations about the subject are recorded in calligraphy. Then Firestone begins working with rich oils to create a painting wherein the subject’s inner life serves the muse and the painting serves as an object of beauty, discovery and spiritual healing. A perfect complement to the evening. 

Westin Bellevue, 601 Bellevue Way NE, 425.638.1000