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Updated: 01/19/2017 08:30:01AM

Labor of love

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Former LWAC board chair Cindy Alexander, far right, said

Lake Wales is blessed to have had Arabella Decker and that Susan Abrahamson brought warmth to a room. The lives and work of Decker and Abrahamson were honored Thursday night at Lake Wales Arts Center. Their "Women at Work" exhibit is on display through Jan. 30.


Mountain Lake resident and LWAC board member Jane Elfner, left, chats with LWAC member Allison Wood at the reception for "Women at Work" Thursday in Lake Wales.


Mountain Lake residents Mellie Cooper, who knew and frequently painted with the featured artists, and Gen. James Abrahamson, widow of featured artist Susan Abrahamson, pose together at LWAC Thursday night. Gen. Abrahamson is likely more famous for being the first director of the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization during the Reagan era.


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LAKE WALES — Showing through Jan. 30 is an exhibit honoring the lives and work of two Lake Wales artists who spent a decade apiece working with and supporting the Lake Wales Arts Council.

The Artistic Legacy Women at Work Exhibit features the work of former LWAC board members and Mountain Lake community residents Susan Abrahamson and Arabella Decker.

Former LWAC board chair Cindy Alexander described Arabella Decker as marching to her own drum, a strong opinionated woman who was dedicated to sharing the world of art with others.

“Lake Wales is blessed to have had Arabella,” Alexander said.

She described Susan Abrahamson as a woman who brought warmth to a room.

“I never had to ask them for help,” Alexander said of the artists’ legacies. “Their sleeves were always rolled up. The works on these walls are filled with their love.”

Along with the featured artists who passed away between 2015 and 2016, the exhibit demonstrates the commitment of a number of professional women artists within the Mountain Lake community of Lake Wales.

Mountain Lake community artists Mellie Cooper, Cay Ballou Eden, Jayne Crews Linton, Dixie Myers, Margerite Rule Giordano and Jane Elfner, who all painted with Susan Abrahamson and Arabella Decker in the past, will be selling their work at a private auction March 11.

Mountain Lake is a community described as the most wealthy in all of Polk County by Bok Tower Gardens Director of Carillon Services Geert D’Hollander recently. A six bedroom, 10 bath house in the community is currently on sale for a list price of $1.75 million. The community surrounds a lake in the immediate vicinity of Bok Tower Gardens.

The only way to get a glance at the grand real estate is to purchase a membership with Bok Tower Gardens and get escorted to the top.

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