A Busy Kickoff to 2022

A Busy Kickoff to 2022

From the desk of Brenda Durant

I like to enter the New Year slowly, adjusting from the holiday, savoring memories of time with family, outstanding meals and lazy days spent walking, talking and eating.  The universe; however, did not agree with my plan.  The Arts Council never sleeps.  We plan pretty far into the future so, while working on events in the next two weeks we are: scheduling gallery shows into the fall, planning for the WetPaint Party and Art Sale happening at the end of February, working on dates and event locations for 2023, coordinating our third iteration of A Private View for May, and planning for the return of Arts in the Heart of Augusta in September.

The Wet Paint Party and Sale on February 26 will be off-the-chain this year.  If you are not familiar with this event, here is the skinny.  We hold the event in February.  It is free for Arts Council Members and Sponsors. We invite local artists to submit a recent work to sell for which we hold an on-line auction the week prior and up to the night of the event.  Our theme for 2022 is “Masters of Art” with our focus on famous paintings—but with a twist this year.  Our invitation and promotional image is based on the Philip Morsberger painting Man with a Necktie.  We hired local artist Ray Sturkey, who studied under Philip, to create large backdrop to match the painting’s background.  My husband Ed Durant volunteered to pose as “the man” and sat for 2 hours while Ray painted his face for the photo shoot, replicating the look of Philip’s painting.  At the Party, we will have the backdrop, the shirt, tie and painted sunglasses so you can pose as our iconic “Man with a Necktie.”  During the party, we provide light food; the event starts at 7 PM so we suggest dining prior. As usual, we will have a troupe of gorgeous models representing the theme of art and artists.  Another new feature this year will be a live model re-creation of the Jonathan Green painting “Silver Supper Club”.  Ray will again paint the larger-than-life backdrop and Ooollee (Vintage Ooollee) will provide models to step in for the women in the painting.  We expect this “living scene” from the painting will fill everyone with amazement and awe.  Especially after a few of our signature drinks. Of course, we had to find a signature drink to match our theme. Combining Van Gogh’s love for Absinthe with Earnest Hemmingway’s cocktail creation of a mixture of Champagne with Absinthe, we will be serving the drink, “Death in the Afternoon” at WetPaint.

Last year we honored Philip Morsberger during our on-line event.  His daughter Wendy Morsberger contacted us and promised to donate a piece for us to raffle off this year.  We will be selling raffle tickets for one of Philip’s oil pastel paintings.  If you have always wanted to own a painting by Philip Morsberger this is your chance!  You can talk to a board member or call the Arts Council office to purchase a raffle ticket for a chance to win it.   Tickets are $20 each or 3/$50. We hope to see you on February 26 at Sacred Heart; you know… it’s the Art Party of the year. You might go home with not only a piece of original art, a selfie of yourself as Man with a Necktie, a glow from “Death in the Afternoon” but perhaps … maybe…  a painting by internationally renowned artist Philip Morsberger.

And finally, we are working on a variety of exciting programs and events for 2022.  Check our Arts Calendar often to find out all the amazing events you can attend during the coming year.  Onward!