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REVISED EDITION: Arts Night 2007 A Record Breaker

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Officials for the Washington Pavilion’s Visual Arts Center announced today that the annual fundraiser, Arts Night, held Fri., May 4 brought in a record amount. According to preliminary figures the event and the brought in nearly $47,000 through the live auction and approximately $50,000 in corporate donations and contributions.

”I would like to thank all of the 90 plus artists who donated their art work to this year’s Arts Night” said David Merhib, Director of the Visual Arts Center. “We are fortunate to have such a wealth of strong artists locally and throughout the region that donate to this event. I would also like to thank those that purchased art from the live auction. Your contributions and generosity do not go unnoticed.”

An estimated 280 people attended Arts Night with 62 art works donated to the auction with all proceeds benefiting the Visual Arts Center’ educational programs. Artists from Sioux Falls and the surrounding area donate works of art for this fundraising event that also includes a month long display in the Everist Gallery.  A selection committee – part of the Arts Night volunteer planning committee - determines which pieces will be included in the auction. This year over 90 pieces were submitted for consideration. “Proceeds from this fundraiser will ensure that VAC activities continue to reach all parts of the community,” said Merhib.  “From the regular classes held at the juvenile detention center to programs with McCrossan’s Boys Ranch and the Bowden Youth Center the Visual Arts Center provides experiences that help build self-esteem, career options and personal expression through art.”

Individual awards are given based on three categories: People’s Choice, Artists’ Choice and Curator’s Choice. The winner of the Curator’s Choice Award is featured in an exclusive exhibit the following year.

The 2007 winners were:
People’s Choice – (3 way tie)
Lee McManus, Getting Ready, pastel, 2007
Stacey Evangelista, Stephanie, oil on canvas, 2006
John Rychtarik, Backyard Lil, acrylic, 2007

Artist’s Choice
Josh Johnson, Easy Does It, All Night Long, steel, wood, tin, antler, hemp cord, 2007

Curator’s Choice
Douglas Frates, The Seasons, 2006 blown glass

Also at each year’s Arts Night fundraiser, one person is selected as the recipient of the Emeritus Society Award.  This award was started to recognize a person in the community that has been involved in assisting the Visual Arts Center fulfill its statement of purpose.  This year, the Emeritus Society Award was presented to former Civic Fine Arts Center board member Martha Baker for her continued support of the Visual Arts Center, her leadership of the Emeritus Society and her contributions of print and fabric artworks to benefit the Visual Arts Center.

This year’s event sold out immediately. Arts Night is held on the Great Hall stage and features a social hour and a gourmet meal catered by Leonardo’s Café. Arts Night represents the second largest fund raising event for the Visual Arts Center. The Sidewalk Arts Festival is the largest fund raiser.