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In this time of COVID-19, the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts missed being able to plan the traditional celebration and luncheon held each spring that recognizes the artist of the year. But that doesn’t keep us from being creative.

Keeping social distancing in mind, MIFA was able to honor 90-year-old Marie Senechal as the 2020 artist of the year.

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Six masked and mindful guests met at the home of MIFA President Karen Swanker to surprise Senechal with her award. She received a framed certificate, bouquet of flowers and a gift certificate.

Senechal was nominated by Barbara Parisi and Claire Keery for her skilled workmanship and dedication making and donating over 4000 blankets, crocheted afghans and handmade quilts for seven different charities including Providence House, Friendship House, St. Mathew’s House and Naples Shelter for Abused Women and Children.

Additionally, through Airline Ambassadors International and its sub-group Miracles in Action, Senechal’s works have been donated to children in Mexico, Guatemala and Peru and to Haiti after natural disasters there. Senechal is also an awarding winning watercolorist featuring landscapes and seascapes whose work has been exhibited over the years at the Marco Island Center for the Arts.

When asked when she starts quilting each day – she replied “morning, noon and night” and often on a sleepless night she will get up at 3 a.m. to quilt.

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Senechal jokingly describes her work as an addiction and hopes to never recovers from it. Her painting was for personal joy while her work now is for the comfort and joy of others.

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