Celebrating local artists while encouraging others to dabble in the field for what may be the first time is only part of the purpose Capital Arts' fourth annual CelebARTy Dinner and Live Art Auction.
The event, set for 6-9 p.m. Oct. 3, also helps encourage art across the Jefferson City community, as proceeds benefit the Capital Arts Gallery and specifically benefit the Art Heals program, said Leann Porrello, executive director of Capital Arts. Porello described the Art Heals program as one that benefits disadvantaged populations, where Capital Arts pays for a teacher and all needed supplies to host a free art class for a group that otherwise might not have that opportunity.
"Our Art Heals program is really designed for all different sorts of people," Porrello said, noting they have worked with local cancer centers, mental health facilities and senior centers, among others.
The annual CelebARTy event features more than 15 local celebrities who either take on an art project by themselves or are paired with a local artist to collaborate on a piece that is then auctioned off at the event. Porrello said several celebrities over the years have had an art background and opt to work by themselves, giving the example of Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin who paints and takes photos in her spare time.
"Our goal is always to encourage the celebrities to kind of get out of their comfort zone, try something artsy that they may have not done before," Porrello said. "It's really starting to build a really great community aspect where we are incorporating new celebrities every year to the event, but we're encouraging the celebrities to come back and join us again and try something different."
This year's event has been a little more difficult to plan than in past years, Porrello said, mainly because of the EF-3 tornado that hit the city May 22. The dinner and auction have always been held at Avenue HQ on Capitol Avenue, but that building was badly damaged by the tornado and demolished earlier this month.
"We had to kind of scramble and change everything," Porrello said. "This year, it's going to have a completely different look."
Now planned for Revel Catering on High Street, Porrello said it will have a bit of more upscale feel to it and will not be a sit down dinner as in past years. Instead, it will be more focused on mingling over drinks and hors d'oeuvres, she said.
Doors open at 6 p.m., with the first hour allowing for people to check out the art that will be auctioned off. The auction will begin at 7 p.m. and, once about half of the items are auctioned off, there will be a break with Suzanne Luther providing some comedy before the auction picks back up. Porrello said they really wanted to be able to include other forms of art, as the auction is focused on visual art, and having performing artists helps provide some more variety.
Tickets are available at $50 per ticket or $250 for six tickets and can be purchased at Capital Arts Gallery or through the website at capitalarts.org. Porrello said the event typically draws an average of about 175 people, though their goal is always to hit 200.
"We are super excited," Porrello said. "It has grown and grown every year. It's just a really unique event."
She also noted anyone who wants to participate in the event in the future as a local celebrity, or nominate someone to participate, should simply reach out to the Capital Arts Gallery staff.