The Randolph County Community Arts Center will host its annual gala to kick off its 11th season of concerts, exhibits and arts classes, all in a roaring '20s style.
The fundraising gala begins at 6 p.m. Friday in the Great Hall of the Arts Center in Elkins, and it will feature a large selection of hors d'oeuvres, desserts and cocktails prepared by Arts Center volunteers.
Art, music, dancing and an auction will top off the celebration.
The 11th annual Gala Juried Exhibit is sponsored by Elkins Rehabilitation & Care Center.
"It is truly an incredible evening," said Beth King, executive director of the Arts Center. "Our annual gala is our primary fundraising event for the upcoming year. Guests will have a fabulous evening celebrating the arts in our community with beautiful art, great music and incredible food, and they will be helping us continue to be a vital part of the community."
Arts Center board member Molly Propst said the Art Center is a very important asset to the community, which provides many art-related events including concerts, workshops, exhibits and classes for all ages.
If you go
What:?11th annual Gala Juried Exhibit
When: 6 p.m. Friday
Where: Randolph County Community Arts Center
"It is a great recruiting tool when new people are considering moving to our area," Propst said. "Keeping art alive in Elkins is crucial and the Art Center is a perfect example of how we can meet this need."
Margo Blevin Denton, board member emeritus, agreed.
"I can't believe how much our county has benefited from the Arts Center. From the youngest to the oldest, there has been something for everyone to enjoy and learn from," Denton said. "As an artist, it has changed my life in countless ways. I'll go on supporting it, and I hope everyone who is able to remembers to leave the Randolph County Community Arts Center a gift to keep it running in years to come."
Board member Ronald LaNeve also had great things to say about the center.
"Having had a federal career with assignments in several large cities, my wife and I were used to enjoying the advantages of cities with very large populations," LaNeve said. "I never expected to find an art center in a small town and I would never trade what we have here for the problems that large cities inherit. We, indeed, have the best of both worlds."
Both a silent auction and a live auction are part of the fundraising evening.
"All works were donated by artists, businesses and community members, so all proceeds from the auction will benefit year-round programming at the Arts Center," King said.
Some of the items up for auction include a woven shawl by artist Wendy Clark; a large pottery work by Kate Harward; Dinosaurs, a painting by Michael Doig paired with a three-dimensional dinosaur sculpture by Brett Kerns; an overnight package for Shepherdstown including a stay at the Bavarian Inn and restaurant gift certificates; hand-turned Christmas ornaments by Dave Shombert; a pottery piece by Scottie Weist; a Blenko Glass piece; Tres Leches cake by Chucho Sanchez; a jewelry set by Kate Goodrich-Arling; concert tickets to The Seldom Seen paired with gift certificate for dinner at El Gran Sabor; a woodblock print by Maggie Rhudy; and artwork by Margo Blevin Denton.
A major part of the festivities will include the opening and award presentation of the 2012 Gala Juried Exhibition, featuring two- and three-dimensional works by West Virginia and Mid-Atlantic artists.
"We are very lucky to have such outstanding talent regionally and are honored to have the Elkins Rehabilitation & Care Center once again sponsor the exhibit," King said.
Artists juried into the exhibition include Jo Ann Post Barlow of Elkins, Brad Basil of Montrose, Jack Basil of Elkins, Margo Blevin Denton of Elkins, Brenda Bonnes of Valley Bend, Paul Bonnes of Valley Bend, Louise Braddock of West Union, Liza Brenner of Buckhannon, Andrea Burke of Martinsburg, Wendy J. Clark of Belington, Kristen Colebank of Wardensville, Susan G. DeVan of Romney, Michael Doig of Elkins, Akiko Endo of Elkins, Craig Etchison of Fort Ashby, Nina Brode Everson of Dryfork, Ken Ewing of Beckley, Pat Ewing of Beckley, Deanna Gillum of Buckhannon, Don Hall of Elkins, Mary Ann Honcharik of Dryfork, Brett Kern of Elkins, Sandra King of Wallback, Fran Kordek of Elkins, Greg Kullman of Morgantown, Donell McCoy of Parsons, Ken McCoy of Parsons, Deborah McHenry of St. Albans, Joe McInroy of Helvetia, Suzan Morgan of Buckhannon, Marjory Moses of Elkins, Betty Neely of Fairmont, Judy Mattson Reed of Salem, Barry Martin Resnick of Guysville (Ohio), Martha Reynolds of West Union, Ruth Blackwell Rogers of Kerens, Dave Shombert of Elkins, Dianna Simms of Upper Tract, Kevin Stitzinger of Arborvale, Amanda Sullivan of Elkins, Andrew Thorne of Buckhannon, Rema White of Jane Lew, Monica Wilkins of Shepherdstown and Kevin Woodcock of Elkins.
"We are especially thrilled to have Michael Christie of Lewisburg as the juror," King said.
Christie studied at the Maryland Institute of Art and the Schuler School of Fine Art in Baltimore, Md. In 1988, he was a featured artist in American Artist Magazine and his work has been seen in numerous group exhibitions and in solo exhibitions at the Hoorn Ashby Gallery in New York City.
Christie was the WV Absolut Vodka artist in an international campaign in 1994. He was the Artist in Residence at the Greenbrier Resort from 2009 to 2011. Christie lives and maintains a studio in Lewisburg.
Another highlight of this evening celebration will be a solo exhibition by Jo Ann Barlow of Elkins and Westminster, Md., in the Maxwell Gallery. Barlow is a member of the Carroll County (Md.) Artist Guild and the Seneca Trail Artists Guild. She has had private exhibits at Carroll Lutheran Village in Westminster, Md.; Fairhaven Retirement Community, in Eldersburg, Md.; and at Barnes & Noble in Ellicott City, Md.
The Maxwell Gallery is located in the RCCAC Education Building and serves as a solo exhibition space for invited Arts Center artist members.
During the early evening, music will be provided by Scott Green and Seth Maynard on the stage in the Great Hall and Wayne Rowand in the outdoor tent. During the later part of the evening, music that's perfect for dancing will be provided by the Ginsangers.
Tickets for the event are $50 per person and are available by phone with a credit card at 304-637-2355 or in the Arts Center office. Proceeds from the evening will benefit the Arts Center's year-round programming.
The Randolph County Community Arts Center, a nonprofit organization promoting and supporting the arts in Randolph County and the surrounding areas, is located at the corner of Randolph Avenue and Park Street in Elkins. The Arts Center is supported by private donations as well as the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.