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Washington Hall Art Gallery finishes well

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Annual 50/50 Fund Raiser ends the 2013 season

By David Josselyn

  On Saturday, September 28th, a large crowd gathered at Washington Hall, ticket in hand, eagerly listening for their name to be called for their chance to choose any of the art pieces hanging on the wall to take home as their own. The Fifty-Fifty Fund Raiser allows people to purchase a ticket for $50 which entitles them to any remaining piece of art from a pre-established area in the gallery. Funds raised from the event will be directed to both Gilpin Arts and Gilpin School Art Program. Each year, Gilpin Arts donates $1,000 to Gilpin School specifically for the art program. Ticket holders started arriving an hour before the drawing to peruse the eligible items, many making priority lists of their first, second, third and even fourth and fifth choice of art. While browsing, participants partook in fabulous food and drinks and were welcome to roam the rest of the gallery with the musical styling’s of keyboardist George Nelson and guitarist Doug Fisher floating through the gallery. Attendees were eclectically dressed from suits and gowns to Gilpin casual dress of jeans and a nice shirt to jeans and t-shirts, yet inexplicably, everyone fit in with the event. As drawing time came around, all gathered in the main room, many staking out a spot by their anticipated piece of art and a hushed silence filled the gallery. Gilpin Arts President Harv Mastalir opened the evening by thanking the artists who donated their pieces and the participants for helping to expand the appreciation and understanding of art. Harv then handed the reins to Gail Watson, master of ceremonies for the evening. As names were called, several excited squeals were heard as ticket holders gleefully took their choice painting, photograph, or three-dimensional art from the walls of the gallery. As pieces were taken, a collective sigh could be heard from other ticket holders whose names were yet to be called. Although a few ticket holders left after obtaining their prize, most stayed well after the drawing to continue browsing and socializing.

  The Washington Hall Gallery closed its doors for the season on Monday, September 30, but will reopen in June 2014. The gallery has to close since the building has no heat. The closing does not shut the doors on art in Gilpin; however, because the Visitor’s Center Gallery will be open all year, heat included. The Visitor’s Center exhibit will continue to rotate through new artists and new pieces every eight weeks. During these off months, Gilpin Arts will evaluate their year; what worked, what didn’t work, then brainstorm ideas for the new season. Jurors will be contacted and artists lined up for a brand new exhibit in June, 2014.

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