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This week marks a dual celebration for Brunswick Arts Council.
With the council’s seventh annual Miniature Masterpieces gala and fundraiser set for Friday, May 20, the umbrella arts group is also observing its 30th anniversary.
Jeanette Serens, the council’s new president as of last September, notes the council was started in May 1981 by a small group of artists who had gotten to know each other in the Bolivia and Southport area.
“They decided they would get together on a regular basis just to kind of exchange skills and look at each other’s paintings,” Serens says.
Some had more experience than others. Some were professors of fine arts. Others were “just people who wanted to paint,” says Serens, who became involved with the arts council as a volunteer, followed by friendship with one of the board members and chauffeuring longtime member Jeanne Gerloven, who died last year.
Some groups had been together in “these little pocketed areas” in Southport, Calabash, Bolivia and Supply. Their mission was to inspire and promote appreciation of “all the arts and cultural media,” Serens says.
They started with art shows, workshops such as paint-ins and events where they would decide themes, whether it was seascapes or still-life portraits. Two-dimensional went to three-dimensional as sculpture, pottery, quilting, jewelry and other media were added.
Serens credits Gerloven and her late husband, Victor, for their contributions to BAC.
The Gerlovens, she says, were part of the “second wave of people that came in and introduced other opportunity,” with Victor bringing expertise as a professor of fine arts in New York City.
“He did a lot of teaching for the artists in the county,” she says. “To this day, his work is well beloved with many artists paying tribute to him and really going further with their painting.”
The Brunswick group started connecting with the North Carolina Arts Council, leading to grassroots funding and grants that the Brunswick Arts Council continues to apply for.
Funding, now at $30,000 annually, has been used for art programs and workshops and educational programs such as after-school programs through Communities in Schools (CIS).
Serens says a lot of people don’t realize that concerts in the park in Holden Beach, Sunset Beach and Shallotte receive grassroots funding through the arts council, through matching amounts.
Next week’s Miniature Masterpieces will tie in with the arts council’s 30th anniversary during festivities scheduled 6:30-10 p.m. at 101 Stone Chimney Place.
Between 150-200 area artists are donating 4-by-4-inch Miniature Masterpieces they have painted for the annual fundraiser. Tickets for the event are $50 each.
Each ticketholder will receive a Miniature Masterpiece.
Other highlights include wine and a buffet, prepared by Chef Joe Caldropoli of Coastal Catering, with salmon, roasted pork, and “all kind of vegetables,” Serens says.
Musical entertainment will be provided by Brunswick Big Band, showcasing a variety of popular songs and music during the past 30 years. Vocalist Linda Ladrick will perform, as well Lydia Coyner Harrelson soloing on “Think of Me” from “Phantom of the Opera.” The Winding River Players’ impersonation troupe will be on hand to bring celebrities to town, including Walter Matthau, Carol Burnett as Scarlett O’Hara and Lucille Ball. TV personality Genevieve Barker is announcer for the evening, and D.C. North is auctioneer.
There will be both silent and live auctions of art, which will be displayed along with photographs by the Coastal Carolina Camera Club. Other highlights include works of pottery, wood and sculpture and bidding on items such as a weekend at Lois Jane’s Riverview Inn in Southport, piano lessons, theater tickets and an “instant party for eight.”
Tickets for the gala are available at Sunset River Marketplace in Calabash and Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce. Or contact Serens at (910) 371-2641 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or Linda Drye at (910) 512-4162 or email@example.com.
Tickets are also available on the Brunswick Arts Council homepage at www.brunswickartscouncil.org.
All receipts from ticket sales and monies raised go back into the community for grants, scholarships, awards and workshops, Serens said.
Event sponsors include Carolyn Felton, Archer Daniels Midland, Sunset River Marketplace, Ricky Evans Gallery, Coastal Printing and Graphics and The Brunswick Beacon.
IF YOU GO
What: Miniature Masterpieces
When: 6:30-10 p.m. Friday, May 20
Where: 101 Stone Chimney Place
How much: Tickets $50 each
Tickets available through Sunset River Marketplace in Calabash, the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 371-2641 or call Linda Drye at (910) 512-4162 or email email@example.com. Or visit www.brunswickartscouncil.org.