Friends of the Safford Library raffling an Empie giclee

During an appearnace on the Voice of the Valley radio show, Paulette LeBlanc, with the Friends of the Safford City-Graham County Library, shows a photo of the Hal Empie giclee the Friends are raffling to support the library. - David Bell Photo/GIla Valley Central

SAFFORD — With the Safford City-Graham County Library opening up to more in-person activities following the state’s relaxation of gathering guidelines, the Friends of the Library are raising money to support those programs.

The latest fund-raiser is a raffle for a 24×30 giclee donated by Ann Empie-Groves, the daughter of famed Arizona artist, the late Hal Empie.

“The color is next to exact and the texture is there; it’s beautiful,” said Paulette LeBlanc with the Friends. “The piece we have is called ‘The Last Wagon,’ and she donated it to the Friends because she is very, very giving to the Friends of the Library, as well as Graham and Greenlee counties.”

Raffle tickets $5 each or five for $20, and are available at the Friends of the Library corner inside the entrance of the Safford City-Graham County Library, at the website or by calling 928-965-0952.

In addition, the Friends of the Library has for sale Ann Empie-Grove’s collection of her father’s cartoons entitled “Way out West” as well as Hal Empie’s biography, “Arizona’s Hal Empie — His Lifetime and His Art,” with proceeds of the sale benefitting the library.

Hal Empie was a resident of the Gila Valley, working as a pharmacist serving Duncan, Solomon and Safford. A 27-foot-long mural he painted, entitled “Greenlee,” is on display in the Duncan High School cafeteria.

The drawing of the winning ticket for the giclee will take place live on the Voice of the Valley show on KATO AM 1230 on April 29 at 8:30 a.m.