Keep the Heat On fundraiser was hot!

At Gilpin County Arts Association’s Washington Hall

By Virginia Unseld

Approximately 100 people filled Washington Hall on Saturday night for the Gilpin County Arts Association’s annual fundraiser. It was a raucous, sold out event choreographed by Ron Engels on the microphone announcing the winning ticket holdersas their names were drawn. Actually every ticket holder was a winner as everyone left with apiece of art of their choice and a photo book on Central City and a small packet of notecards by Violet Aandres, a former member of GCAA who is greatly missed. It was a wonderful time seeing so many locals and non-locals eating, drinking, smiling, laughing and selecting artwork and supporting the 71 year old arts organization.

We wanted even the last ticket holder to still have choices of art so there are about 10 items left on display at the gallery that each may be purchased for $50, well under their retail value. You can call the gallery for information at 303-582-5952

There are so many people to thank – the artists and organizations who donated over 60 pieces of art or services; the people who bought tickets, the donors who gave wine for the wine wall, and the GCAA Board members who have been working on this event all summer. Some individuals must be mentioned. Dostal Alley and Buddy Schmalz provided beer and bartended; Patrice LeBlanc provided music, Rosalind Patterson and Gregg Harkenrider and many GCAA members provided refreshments, Michele Roussel, Aileen Tamai, and Curt Halstead broke speed records for wrapping purchases and handling sales; Ruth Briggs helped Ron Engels with drawing tickets; Carol Mirarck led the wine wall brigade and sold so many tickets to the event; the Weekly Register-Call and Mountain-Ear provided great publicity.

The newly elected Board of Directors of GCAA will be working on programming for the winter months since Washington Hall will be open this winter as an arts center for the first time. Upcoming events include the Central City Plein Air Festival sponsored by Central City Opera on September 28, 29, and 30. This free event will include 20 juried artists painting within a three mile radius of town. That exhibit will be open to the public on Sunday, September 30, from 5 to 8 for one night only.

The Plein Air Extended Show will include the paintings of Central City that are not sold opening night and additional plein air paintings of Colorado and the west. That show will be open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through October.

The first GCAA Holiday/ Small Works Show will be November 23 – December 22. The deadline for artists applying is September 30th. The application form is at The opening reception will be on November 16th from 11- 4pm.

The future for Washington Hall is looking red hot thanks to so many Gilpinites who support the arts!

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