Art in the Loft: Get Your Green On

Art in the Loft plans to throw a lavish Get Your Green on for Gallery 109 party in advance of St. Patrick’s Day. This Irish-inspired evening features hearty eats, stout refreshments, Celtic music and lively limericks.

The event takes place on Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Loft, located on the top floor of the historic Center Building in downtown Alpena.

“We are using this event to help celebrate and acknowledge past members, but also to entice new potential members,” said Gallery Coordinator Justin Christensen-Cooper.

As expected with an Irish-themed party, the menu includes such fare as corned beef sandwiches, shepherd’s pie, beer cheese soup, Guinness floats and cupcakes. There also will be Irish beer, whiskey tasting and live music.

Besides serving as a kick-off to Art in the Loft’s 2014 membership drive, the event also is a chance for guests to learn about all the new and upcoming activities happening at the Loft.

“We’re planning not only to do a membership celebration but also to present four of the things coming up here,” Christensen-Cooper said. Those four are:

  • Progress on the new Culinary Arts Center inside the gallery space
  • Update on the Community Mural Project
  • Showing off the newly completed workshop space
  • Highlights of the upcoming Young Artists Exhibit and SummerView Exhibit

“Green” takes on multiple meanings for this celebration. Not only does it refer to the signature color of St. Patrick’s Day and the color of money for those renewing memberships or getting first-time memberships, but green also refers to a special art project planned for the night.

“It will be a fun art activity that has to do with the theme of going green,” said Christensen-Cooper. “We want the community to be involved in a piece of art so we’re asking guests to bring an object in from their recycling bin.”

The items could be anything from an old piece of jewelry or a hat to even an old bicycle tire. These cast-off, recyclable items will then be used to create a collage-style artwork with everyone in attendance invited to add their own unique touch to the canvas. Christensen-Cooper will be there to help cohesively piece it all together in an abstract but uniform way. The Loft also will have a number of extra items on hand for people to use in case they forget to bring their own offering.

“Then this finished sculpture will be on display through the next two years,” said Christensen-Cooper.

He also is enthused for Get Your Green On guests to see the progress on the Loft’s Culinary Arts Center. Construction currently is under way, with an expected completion date of April 1. When finished, the center will serve as a teaching facility so the Loft can expand its fine arts offerings to include cooking classes. The facility also will be a fully functioning kitchen for catering events.

Christensen-Cooper is excited as well about the Community Mural Project. In 2013, the Loft asked the public to create and submit fish-themed artworks for inclusion in an outdoor mural that will be installed later this year. Mural artist Tony Hendrick is coordinating this community project and will help install the large-scale mural that will feature metal relief fish based on 12 of the artworks submitted by the public. The 12 winning pieces will be unveiled soon.

Guests on Saturday also will get to see how an old storage/office space inside the Loft has been expanded and transformed into a light-filled place to conduct artist workshops and the signature Ready, Set, Create program for children. Additionally, those attending the party will hear about the upcoming Young Artists Exhibit that will feature over 700 pieces of student art from many area schools.

“This exhibit gives students an opportunity to showcase their work in a gallery setting,” Christensen-Cooper said.

With so many positives taking place at Art in the Loft, he said Get Your Green On will provide the perfect opportunity to acknowledge those who have helped to make it all happen through their memberships and to seek their continued support.

“Art in the Loft is a community arts center which only exists because of the generous support of the community,” Christensen-Cooper said.

Tickets to the event are $25 per person with a cash bar. Call 356-4877 for tickets. A limited number also will be available at the door.