Saturday, September 19, 2020

Arts Gala Helps Define the Soul of Marco Island

Submitted Photo: Special Honorees Sue and Russ Darrow

Submitted Photo: Special Honorees Sue and Russ Darrow

By Joan Gerberding

The great Roman philosopher, Cicero, was credited with saying: “I have put out my books and now my house has a soul.” Perhaps il signor Cicero won’t mind if I steal his words, his philosophy on life, and add that once we put out our books, our paintings, our sculptures, our photographs, our art, our homes have a soul.

Since 1978, the Marco Island Center for the Arts has been offering educational art programs and classes in varied and numerous categories, as well as exhibits, featured painters, writers, photographers, sculptors, glass and clay artists, and more at their permanent home at 1010 Winterberry Drive on Marco Island. In short, they have provided quite a few homes all over the United States and the world with their souls.

At their 5th Annual Gala, to be held on February 26, 2017 at the Island Country Club, the Center for the Arts promises to provide many more opportunities for art lovers and social butterflies alike, to support the Center and its programs for children, youth and adults, while also enjoying an exquisite dinner, elegant desserts, surprise entertainment and lots of elbow rubbing, all accompanied by the music of Billy Dean and Dawn. In addition, a live and silent auction will be held for artwork, gift baskets, trips, and much more on display during the event.

Gala Chairs for 2017 are Emily and John James, Pat and Scot Kaufman and Rosemary and Michael Wick. Special Honorees are Sue and Russ Darrow.

“It’s hard to believe that this is our fifth Gala,” commented Hyla Crane, executive director of the Center for the Arts. “We’re thrilled with the continued enthusiastic support of the Marco Island community, as well as the participation from many Island artists.”

Annually, the Center for the Arts offers over 150 classes and workshops for adults, 25 exhibitions, arts and crafts shows, musical performances, special presentations, family programs and community events. The Center also provides many youth-oriented initiatives, including summer art workshops and the free Young Artists Academy.

“Art education and art appreciation all begins with our young people,” continued Crane, “and so we are particularly proud of our Children and Youth Initiative and our Arts Scholarships.”

President Rosemary Wick, commenting on how much volunteers and staff contribute to the Art Center, said, “We honestly could not pull this off day in and day out, month to month, without the help of these truly committed individuals. Our staff and our volunteers know the value of art and recognize the value it brings to the life of a community, and so they give us their hearts, their time, and their talents to keep us going year after year.”

But heart and talent are not the only things that keep the doors open. Thus, the Gala has become the biggest fundraiser for the Center’s fiscal year.

“We count on our patrons and the island community—both full-time residents and visitors—to keep us a vibrant and progressive art organization,” said Crane. “A portion of the funds raised goes to support our Children and Youth Initiative, but we use the bulk of the donations to keep our doors open and our art exhibits and programs current, vibrant and meaningful.”

This year’s Gala, sponsored by BMO Private Bank, is a celebration of the important role the arts play in the lives of the Marco Island community and its many visitors. The Island Country Club is located at 500 Nassau Road on Marco Island. The Gala begins at 6 PM and black tie is optional. For more information or to reserve a table or a seat at this event, call 239-394-4221.

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