Arts Center Gala set for Friday

One of the area’s biggest annual fundraising benefits will light up downtown Elkins Friday.

The Randolph County Community Arts Center will hold its annual gala to kick off its 12th season of concerts, exhibits and arts classes.

“It’s the major fundraiser of the year for the Arts Center,” RCCAC Executive Director Kurt Barkley said. “This year’s theme is ‘An Evening in Paris.'”

The event, which will feature a French menu, French decor and French wine, will begin at 6 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Arts Center. The gala will include a tasty selection of hors d’oeuvres, desserts and cocktails, as well as an art exhibit, music, dancing and a silent auction.

“The Art Center is a very important asset to our community and provides many art related events including concerts, workshops, exhibits and classes for all ages. It is a great recruiting tool when new people are considering moving to our area. Keeping art alive in Elkins is crucial and the Art Center is a perfect example of how we can meet this need.” Molly Propst, Arts Center board member, said in a press release.

Music at the event will be provided by the Seth Maynard Jazz Quintet in the Great Hall, and by Katy McClane and Family in the outdoor tent.

“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,” Margo Blevin Denton, Board Member Emeritus, said in the release. “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 RCCAC a gift that will help to keep it running in years to come.”

There will be a silent auction of quality works donated by area artists who support the Arts Center, including original paintings, pottery, woodcrafts and other items.

A major part of the festivities will include the opening of the 2013 Gala Juried Exhibition featuring two and three-dimensional works by West Virginia and Mid-Atlantic artists and an awards presentation.

Artists exhibiting at the Gala include: Ruth Blackwell-Rogers, Paul and Brenda Bonnes, Louise Braddock, Liza Brenner, Shawn Brogan, Andrea Burke, Thomas Clevenger, Katherine Crim, Grey Darden, Laurie Goldstien-Warren, Mary Grassell, Don Hall, Paul Hartman, Sandra King, Lisa Alto, Michele Kiser, Fran Kordek, J Michael Ledden, Cody Leeser, Deborah McHenetry, Joe McInroy, Erin McKown, Bill McWhorter, Marjorie Moses, Betty Neely, Judy Mattson Reed, Martha Reyonlds, Jeannine Romano, Dave Shombert, Andy Thorne, Ken Waddell, Kevin Woodcock and JoAnne Post Barlow.

The 12th Annual Gala Juried Exhibit is sponsored by Elkins Rehabilitation & Care 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,” Ronald LaNeve, Arts Center board member, said in the release. “I never expected to find an Art Center in a small town.”

Tickets for the event are $60 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 non-profit 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.