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Sandra Boynton delights Family Services audience

SALISBURY — The “oddly reassuring art” of Sandra Boynton proved a big draw for a benefit for Salisbury Family Services.

The Tremaine Gallery at The Salisbury School hosted the first-ever gallery exhibit of the popular artist’s work Saturday, Sept. 26. Dan Dwyer, a co-chair of the event, said enthusiastically, “We’ve never honored anyone as popular and internationally known as you.”

Dwyer noted that not only was the show here the first gallery exhibit of Boynton’s work, but the first time the public has had an opportunity to buy limited edition, signed and numbered prints.

The honorary chair of the event was actress Laura Linney, who said that when she moved to town, she was excited to learn of her new neighbor.

“The Sandra Boynton? Who made my prize possession — my Barishnicow mug?” she said, holding the mug aloft.

Linney said she developed back pains while filming “John Adams,” a 2008 HBO production. As Abigail Adams, she was obliged to wear corsets that caused considerable discomfort.

“I was in Kohl’s, in Richmond, Va., and there was this big pile of dogs” — toy dogs from Boynton’s animal gallery.

“Let me tell you, this makes an excellent pillow for back pain,” she said, cradling the stuffed toy between her chin and shoulder.

“In a fast-paced world, Sandy dedicates herself to family, friends and her work,” the actress added. “Thank you for the joy and thoughtfulness of your work.”

The soft-spoken Boynton thanked the crowd, saying, “This is home. I chose to raise my family here. I’m proud to be a member of this community.”

The event is a biannual fundraiser for Salisbury Family Services. Dwyer said the event provides roughly one third of the budget for the organization, which is funded privately.

“It’s a very old-fashioned service where townspeople of means help those in need,” he explained.

The formula is to pick a Salisbury artist to showcase, follow up with a cocktail party, and then host dinners in private homes.

Dwyer said previous versions have been successful, not only financially, but as a community activity.

“It’s a low-cost way to do something uniquely local and benefit SFS.”

This year, about 300 people attended the gallery event and about 90 continued on to one of the dinners.

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