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Here’s What You Missed at the Paint Around Gala & Auction

Pop! Fizz! Clink! Grab your champagne, put on your favorite cocktail dress and get ready for a night filled with glitz, glamour and beautiful art. The Paint Around Gala & Auction, a biennial event and in its third year of being held, was hosted at the William Johnston Building at 7:00 p.m. on March 4, with the reception starting at 6:30 p.m. Guests walked in and grabbed their name tag, bidding card and drink then got ready to celebrate a night full of unique art and talents from those in the FSU College of Fine Arts.

Courtesy: Facebook

From gestural student artists, who sold their art throughout the event for only $20, and musicians to models and dance performers, the evening was full of expression and creativity everywhere you looked. Once the reception was over, the event soon began. I spoke with Jessica Comas, the Director of Development for the College of Fine Arts, who gave me a rundown of how the Paint Around Gala & Auction worked:

“Five artists who are well known in the community will be painting a live tableau of dancers. The kick is, every ten minutes, a bell will ring and the artists will move to their neighbor’s canvas. The artists will then fill in what the previous artists had worked on until the piece is complete.”

In other words, each artist had a hand on each canvas, forever leaving their mark on an incredible piece that will make a difference to those students in the School of Fine Arts. The five talented artists who brought their own unique style, creativity and artistic eye to each piece they worked on included: Marina Brown, Kathleen Carter, Mark Messersmith, Audra Pittman and Eluster Richardson. Once the painting began, each artist had three rounds of ten minutes to sketch, draw, fill in and paint on his or her given canvas. When the bell rang, the artists switched to the canvas next to them, were given a two-minute break and then began to paint again. Hence why the name of the event is titled “Paint Around.” While the artists painted, dancers performed a choreographed number titled “Arms in a Field of Daisies,” which was choreographed by Sara Rose and was adapted for the dancers to start on the second floor of the building, making their way down to the main floor as they danced through the crowd and artwork until they reached the platform of models.

Courtesy: Michelle Abraira

After the three rounds were completed, the bidding began. As all canvases got lined up for auction, people gathered around, anxiously waiting to bid on their favorite work. Before the auction began, Heather Mayo, President of the Friends of Dance board, read a touching and moving letter from a student at FSU who wrote about how the scholarship changed her life. Coming from a single-family household, the student wrote how the scholarship helped make her dreams come true when she did not think it was possible. Because of the scholarship, she was able to attend FSU and feel secure in the fact that her academic experience here would be taken care of. All the proceeds from the event go directly toward funding students’ academics here at FSU, which left guests content knowing that they helped change lives, enriching our community with talented artists.

The bidding for many of the canvases began around $250, with prices ranging up to $600 to $750. Once all pieces were bid on, there was a special bid. For those who didn’t get to purchase a canvas but still wanted to donate money and make a difference, bidders were told to raise their paddles if they wanted to contribute $50 and were given a gold balloon. With a room full of gold balloons, the difference that was made for the students and their academic experiences here at FSU was incredible.

Courtesy: Michelle Abraira

The Paint Around Gala & Auction, full of creativity, diversity, unique expression and beautiful artwork, was an event we were sure not to miss.

If you would like to know more about the artists who painted in the Paint Around Gala & Auction, visit the FSU College of Fine Arts’ website to see what unique and diverse style each artist brought to his or her canvas.

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