This Century Art Gallery Introduces New Fundraising Series is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.

There was quite the spread at the inaugural Artful Soiree party, hosted by Todd and Leslie Skinner.
Todd and Leslie Skinner offered a large spread at the inaugural Artful Soiree party. (Courtesy This Century Art Gallery)

This Century Art Gallery has put a twist on its typical fundraising events, reaching out to supporters of the gallery to host public, themed parties in their own homes.

“We know people love visiting other folks’ homes and are often willing to pay for the experience,” said Janis Wood, chairwoman of the Artful Soiree Series Committee.

The Artful Soiree Series, a new initiative to raise money for This Century Art Gallery through privately hosted parties that are open to the general public. The parties are hosted by friends of the Gallery and often feature creative themes that are reflected in the food, cocktails, decorations and even guests’ attire.

The inaugural Artful Soiree, hosted by Todd and Leslie Skinner in April, featured a retro 1950s theme that was enhanced by the hosting couple’s historic home and extensive 1950s memorabilia collection.

As with all Artful Soiree events, the hosts covered all costs associated with the party out of their own pockets, and all proceeds went directly to benefit the gallery.

The Skinners’ party raised $3,000, most of which will go toward their outreach and educational initiatives. Wood hopes that as the series continues they will not only be able to continue raising money, but also entice donors to go one step further.

“We expect to draw in new people to these events with the goal that many will like what they see and hear and become involved with the gallery.”

The next event in the series, hosted by Toano couple Steve and Jean Kennedy, will have a more rustic feel. The party, scheduled for June 25, has been dubbed “Summer Fun at the Party Barn” and will focus on wine and food pairings in a congenial atmosphere.

Though many of the details are still being worked out, guests can be assured there will be “delightful surroundings, sumptuous food, creative drinks and entertaining activities” that are showcased at all Artful Soiree events, regardless of their varied hosts and themes.

Interested parties can contact Janis Wood at 757-220-2217 for more information or to make reservations.

Area High School Students Honored at Regional Art Competition

Jamestown sophomore AJ Shostak took first place for her colored pencil drawing, “Decay,” in the Peninsula Fine Arts Center’s exhibition, Prefaces 2015. (Courtesy PFAC)
Jamestown sophomore AJ Shostak took first place for her colored pencil drawing, “Decay,” in the Peninsula Fine Arts Center’s exhibition, Prefaces 2015. (Courtesy PFAC)

Nine students from Williamsburg-James City County Schools and the York County School Division were the big winners at a regional art competition.

The WJCC and YCSD students captured nine of 10 awards from a field of 61 pieces at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center’s “Prefaces 2015” exhibit awards reception May 3.

The exhibit features 61 pieces of art created by students attending 15 regional high schools.

All high school students from Peninsula high schools and homeschool were invited to participate in the exhibit, which has been a PFAC tradition since 1979.

“It’s one of our biggest traditions,” PFAC Director of Marketing and Community Engagement Amber Lester Kennedy said. “It’s an introduction to the art world for a lot of those students.”

Guest juror Kristin Smith Skees, a professor of fine art at Christopher Newport University, selected 61 pieces from 200 submissions for display in the exhibit. From the 61 finalists, Skees picked 10 award winners.

“It’s great because the guest juror brings his or her own criteria for judging the pieces,” Kennedy said.

The awards for best in show and first through fourth places were sponsored by the Tidewater Chapter of The Society Inc.

The winners from WJCC and YCSD schools were:

  • Luke Schiavone, Jamestown High School, Best in Show, “The String of Life,” photograph.
  • AJ Shostak, Jamestown High School, first place, “Decay,” colored pencil.
  • Patricia Dedmon, Lafayette High School, second place, “Doughnuts,” acrylic.
  • Indigo Cristol, Lafayette High School, third place, “Swimmer,” ceramic.
  • Sara Eckelman, Grafton High School, fourth place, “Play Ball,” acrylic.
  • Kyle Seal, Warhill High School, David J. Levinson Photography Award, “Wallie to F/S Boardslide,” photograph.
  • Shay McKinney, Grafton High School, Honorable Mention, “Albino,” pencil and marker.
  • Lily O’Halloran, Jamestown High School, Honorable Mention, “Desert,” digital photograph.
  • Chrisanthi Prassas, Warhill High School, Honorable Mention, “Bound by Rope,” charcoal.

Prefaces 2015 will be on display through May 31 at PFAC.