Mayor Dan helped our president Sara Gallagher cut the ribbon
What a fun night!! Last evening was Mispillion Art League's official "Grand Opening." Bob and I were so excited to see so many of the folks we invited show up and wish us well. We estimate about 300 people attended which was absolutely fantastic! This was also a Chamber of Commerce Mixer so we were able to show off our new exhibit and discuss the overall mission of our league which is "to provide community-wide access to a quality visual arts program."
This new building is an historic one in our town, having once been a hardware store when the town was a bustling shipbuilding city in earlier days. It had fallen into complete disrepair and was quite an eyesore for the downtown when local businessman Tab Book restored it and our art league decided to lease the space.
The Exterior of our new Gallery space on North Walnut Street
Mr. Book made improvements to the building to accommodate our needs; the second floor is being converted to gallery and studio space to be managed by Scott and Gail Angelucci. It now stands as an example of what can happen in a downtown with lots of support from our Mayor Dan Marabello, city council and the citizens of our community who have been so excited to see us on the corner of North Walnut Street and Park Avenue and of course without the tireless work of our Board of Directors, Committee Chairpersons and Members who worked tirelessly to see this dream come to its fruition.
Trays of appetizers were donated by local restaurants such as Abbott's Grill, Three Little Peppers BBQ, Georgia House Restaurant and Mispillion Art League members who filled our tables with all sorts of wonderful appetizers, spreads, dips and desserts that were too scrumptious to pass up! Mike's Liquor Mart donated cases of white wine and the league provided the reds.
There was a constant crowd at the food table!
Metal sculptor, MAL member Gary Pearson created this whimsical sculpture to gauge our Fundraising effort to obtain $100 from 100 donors
Sara addressed the crowd along with JoAnne Navitsky-Schmeiser of the Chamber of Commerce
The new brochures I designed with the help of Judy Struck, Board member and Education Chair, were ready in the nick of time, thanks to our anonymous printer, and available on the reception counter (A pizza, beer, wine and folding party was held Tuesday evening at our house with Judy and Glen!) They include everything the league is doing for the next half a year with information about classes, instructors, Third Monday's program (interesting speaker/demonstration the 3rd Monday of every month at 6:30pm), upcoming exhibits, information about membership and our Open Art schedule (members get together to share each other's company while working on their own projects). They are available in the gallery.
They look startled that the scissors actually cut!
Thanks to all the members of the Mispillion Art League who helped make this night such a success. I can only imagine the number of hours Sara Gallagher, President, and Sharon Hepford, Vice President and Exhibit Chair, put in on a daily basis in service to the art league and the community; Diane Deeney, our hospitality chairman along with her committee and other willing members did an incredible job as always coordinating, serving, cleaning up and generally making sure everything ran smoothly and there was always fresh food on the table; Gail Angelucci and Betsy Rybczyski our Fundraising Gurus; our Board of Directors, along with Sharon, Sara, Betsy and Gail - Dorothy Vuono, Treasurer, Donald Blair, Harry Humes, Judy Struck, Angela Prattis, Pearl Burbage and Richard France.
So many other members did so much on the Grand Opening behind the scenes, I'm sure I'll forget someone, but I'm just going to list the folks whose names come immediately to my mind: Cathy Walls, Judy and Tom Kirkpatrick, Bill Patterson, Eleanor Adams, Sonja Frey, Pam Swain, Angela Taylor, Bea Whitehead, Jean Massetti, Geri and Howard Gaskill.....the others, if you worked on the Grand Opening and I have not listed your name here, forgive me-- and if you want me to, just comment on this page and I'll add you!
Thank you all. It's a joy to be part of such a warm, welcoming, artistically gifted, community -oriented group!