In November Stephen Stavast celebrated 26 years of doing business as Stavast Studio/Gallery in Gallery Row, and as part of that celebration he made the commitment to donate 10% of his gallery sales through 2018 to Manna House of Oakhurst.
In keeping with that commitment, last Friday Stavast presented two checks totaling $1,400 to Tom Nicolulis, the director of Manna House.
The first check, in the amount of $900, was from Stavast Studio/Gallery and the second for $500 was from loyal collectors, Perry and Ree Cox of Clovis - all contributing to the area non-profit which benefits the lives of more than 65,000 people in need annually.
Also, Stavast plans on selling his piece, “Cradle Rock,” with 40% going to Manna House, which would be a tax deduction for the purchaser.
“Mr. Stavast is an example of the loving kindness in this community. Without it, Manna House would not be able to help those in need with dignity,” a grateful Nicolulis said.
This commitment to Manna House comes from a man who less than three years ago was fighting for his life after suffering a double aortic aneurysm with two subsequent strokes.
“When I was laying in the hospital bed, I thought what’s going to happen to my art if I die,” Stavast said. “I want to get this art out to people’s homes where it belongs.”
Stavast had good reason for selecting Manna House.
“I know the great things Manna House does for this community. I’m not going to go hungry and I can pay my bills,” Stavast added. “If I can’t, I just transfer funds out of my savings account. I can’t imagine being hungry with no money ... and I’ve been pretty broke.”
Despite his health setbacks, Stavast has returned to his gallery and can be seen painting in the front window of his studio. He invites the public to stop by to visit and view his realistic rock and water paintings and prints.
Details: Stavast Studio, Winter hours 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., seven days a week. The studio is located at 40982 Highway 41, Suite 2, in Oakhurst, (559) 683-0611, or visit StavastStudioGallery.com.