Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Friends of the Transit

Last Saturday night the artists of the Transit Building held their first annual Friends of the Transit Award Event in the Graffiti Gallery.  As a newly created subdivision of the Civic Center, the artists Maureen James, John Manders and myself created the Friends of the Transit Program.

The purpose of the program is to bring the community into the Transit Buildings and with a membership become a part of what is going on there.  Not everyone feels they have artistic ability but they may have an interest in the arts and the program will allow them to help develop the arts in Oil City.  They can do this by helping out with promoting the art events, volunteering to work in the Graffiti Gallery as a sales associate, helping artists in their studios, giving tours of the building, etc.   Any money generated through a membership in the Friends program will be passed onto the Civic Center and will be used to preserve, restore and upgrade the buildings.  

So, Saturday night was our kick off event.  It was a fun filled and busy evening.  (I do apologize for the photos.  Took them with my phone and wasn't very diligent about checking what I was doing.)

Festivities began at 5:00 (after our usual Second Saturday Open Studios) with a social time for people to look at the artwork in the Gallery, have a little something to eat and drink.  From 5-6:00 Mitch Littler, a young man from the area (oh Oil City has so much talent) played his guitar and sang.  He shared his music with us again from 7:00-8:00.  

Mitch Littler

At 5:30, four of the building's artists took part in what was called the "12 1/2 Minute Painting."  Abby Bunnell, George Cooley, Shon Gaworski and Carol McDonald each shared their unique styles and vision by beginning and completing a painting in the time it took to play a rousing song.  At the end of the evening the works were given away to some of the participants.  

Shon Gaworski

Abby Bunnell

George Cooley

Carol McDonald

At 6:00 I gave a basic demo on metal clay, complete with a torch firing demo.  

The award presentation to Dr. Robert DeShong was given at 6:30.  Dr. DeShong has put in many hours doing physical work at the buildings as well as donating funds to help with various projects.  He gave a very nice speech following the presentation (which I can't remember but I remember thinking how nice it was.  I was cleaning up my area so John could do his caricatures there and I was listening but not totally catching everything that was going on then.  Didn't even get a picture of it.... darn!)

6:45 to 7:45 John Manders, our resident book illustrator did caricatures of many of the attendees.  (Sorry, didn't catch a picture of that either as I was upstairs at the Forestwood Performing Arts Academy learning how to do the cha cha.)

At 7:00 Darin Paden, owner of  the Forestwood  Performing Arts Academy on the fourth floor of the Transit Annex, gave a mini-class in the cha cha and a demo on the 4 step swing.  I gave the cha cha a try and it really was pretty easy.  Darin did a great job of breaking it down and taking it slowly.  I was doing okay until he added a turn and twist (which right now is not too good for my bum knee.)

The evening was full of good people, good art, music, dance and food.  (All donated by the Transit Artists.)  What a party!

Anissa Gage's center piece made from vegetables and dried plants

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