Paint the Town ready to light up night with some artsy fun |

Paint the Town ready to light up night with some artsy fun

Park City Mayor Dana Williams takes a painting at last year s Paint the Town fundraiser. Scott Sine/Park Record.

Friday, March 3, at 6 p.m. a horde of artists will invade Harry O’s. But the pack of painters, sculptors and otherwise artsy folks will not come to ravage the club with creativity rather, they’ll be there to help Arts-Kids.

That evening, Arts-Kids will hold its annual Paint the Town fundraiser, featuring seven local artists and music from Small House Quartet which will open and Motherlode Canyon Band which will headline.

"We’ll be at Harry O’s again for the third year," said Arts-Kids executive director Kris Beer. "Bacchus Wine Bar is again providing our hors d’oeuvres and Jeriko winery is also a sponsor."

"It’s a really fun event, because it combines a number of artistic mediums," said Park City councilman Joe Kernan, who also serves as the chair of the Arts-Kids board of directors.

The event he noted, includes everything from the local musicians to visual artists.

The local artists will include metal sculptor Bill Kranstover and painter Claire Dunaway, both returning to the event, along with several newcomers, including textile artist Heidi Smith, painters and gallery owners Renee Mox Hall and Felix Saez, Kimball Art Center education coordinator Annie Kennedy and Sudanese immigrant and painter Atem Aleu.

"There’s quite a diversity among them," said Beer, "in their ethnicity as well as their mediums."

Beer said the event will run much as it has the past two years, with the artists creating works to be auctioned off later in the evening and the other entertainers filling in the blanks.

One of the event’s most popular attractions will return as well.

"We do have, again, the Take a Shot, featuring [Park City Mayor] Dana Williams and, this year, [Summit County Commissioner] Sally Elliott."

Take a Shot offers participants an opportunity to pelt the politicians with paint, making them works of art, and while Williams has participated in the event for the past two years, this will be a first for Elliott, who said she said ‘yes’ as soon as Beer, an old friend, called.

"I’m thrilled," she said, "to help out Arts-Kids and Kris."

"The opportunity to paint the mayor and Sally Elliott is always fun," said Kernan.

In addition to the local politician painting, music and art, the event will also include silent and live auctions, with the latter featuring the works created by the artists at the event. The silent auction items will range from trips to the Jeriko Estates winery to a bus trip to Wendover for 55.

The proceeds from the event will benefit Arts-Kids. The Paint the Town is the organization’s primary fundraiser.

"It’s the only way that we can make our budget for the year."

Last year, she said the organization raised approximately $40,000 with the event. The organization’s 2005 budget, she added, is just under $200,000.

But according to Kernan, the organization has never had the opportunity to operate with a big cushion. The money from Paint the Town only allows the organization a reprieve in its search for funds, he said.

"This type of grant is really important to help this organization get funding for a breather for maybe six months," he said.

Arts-Kids provides personal development for youth ages 8-15 through the expressive arts and art education. The organization provides artists, volunteers facilitators and the materials needed to teach small after-school classes, which serve the youth which have been chosen to participate and currently runs programs in each of Summit County’s public elementary schools, plus Ecker Hill and North Summit middle schools.

"The program is free for the kids," Beer noted.

"It’s a lot more intimate than a typical arts class in a school," said Kernan. "There are a lot of adults to help out the kids."

The courses, he noted, change each week, offering different types of artistic expression and different projects. The facilitators, meanwhile, offer each student an opportunity to talk and express himself or herself.

"It’s really cool," Kernan said. "It’s about a lot more than art. It’s really a medium for personal development."

Beer said that in the future, the Arts-Kids hopes to expand to include programs in Wasatch County. But the effort toward that goal, she noted, is just beginning. For now, the organization is focused on its upcoming event.

"This is really our only shot at fundraising," said Beer.

Paint the Town, she added, is perfect for anyone with a love of art, an appreciation for music and a desire to support youth.

"It’s been a really fun, successful, locals-loving event," she said.

"It’s a fun, low-key environment," said Kernan. "It’s a great way to break into spring."

Paint the Town will run from 6-11 p.m. on Friday, March 3. Tickets to the event are $70 and are available, along with more information, by calling 615-7878.

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