For more than a century, the nonprofit Galveston Art League has given regional artists valuable exposure, taught art techniques, and nurtured art appreciation. Residents of the Galveston County area will have an opportunity to pay it forward to the league by attending its annual gala from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, in the San Luis Resort Grand Ballroom, 5222 Seawall Blvd. in Galveston (tickets: GalvestonArtLeague.com).
Adhering to the theme “An Evening of Art & Music,” the fundraiser will celebrate the collaboration of art and musical organizations in the area. Honorees are the Galveston Symphony Orchestra, Galveston College Community Chorale, Galveston Heritage Chorale, and Sparky Koerner’s Jazz Ensemble. In addition to fine dining, the gala will have music by Sparky’s Jazz express, auctions, and a raffle. Local TV personality Don Nelson will serve as master of ceremonies.
Proceeds from the gala will support the nonprofit league’s operating budget. The Art League’s community outreach ― frequent Saturday workshops, children’s classes, competitions, and exhibits and sales of regional artists’ works ― is especially significant today, considering that exposure to art is limited by the tight budgets of public schools.
OK, at this point you might be thinking, “I’m not a gala person” or “I don’t have anything to wear to it” or “I won’t know a soul.” I felt the same way but was told by past attendees that it’s a relaxed evening, that you’ll meet interesting people, and that a nice blouse over black slacks will do. (My ever-casual husband will probably wear a Hawaiian shirt with a sport coat over it… until he feels too warm for the jacket.) Of course if you want to go more formal, you’re welcome to, and you won’t feel out of place.
I can easily justify our $150 ticket cost based on the enrichment I’ve reaped from the Art League. So far I’ve taken two workshops: one that taught do-it-yourself picture framing and another on painting a landscape in pastels. And for years I’ve had fun visiting Art League galleries in Galveston and Texas City. During ArtWalks, my husband and I, plus our friends and family, have enjoyed both galleries’ complimentary snacks and beverages. (As a side note, the Art League’s Texas City gallery, 611 6th St. N., will participate in one of these walks on Sept. 22.)
It’s always our favorite stop for ArtWalk, and others clearly agree with us: The Galveston Art League recently received The Galveston County Daily News’ Readers’ Choice Award as Best Art Gallery. That’s because the artwork is varied, appealing, and affordable. Even when we were tourists, before buying our home on the island in 2015, my husband and I went out of our way to go inside to see the photography, paintings, sculpture, art glass, jewelry, and more. We never want to miss an exhibit on the walls and shelves, and displays change every month.
To support its galleries and mission, the Art League counts on the gala, memberships ($35 a year and up), contributions, entry fees for juried competitions, workshop tuition, and commissions from sales. Non-monetary support comes from volunteers’ hours staffing the galleries, preparing snacks for events such as ArtWalk and exhibit previews, organizing shows and competitions, hanging artwork, editing the newsletter, and updating GalvestonArtLeague.com.
In fall of 2017, I paid my first Galveston Art League membership dues. I began volunteering early this year, assisting with public relations, marketing, and advertising. And now I’ll attend the organization’s fifth annual gala, another way that I ― and anyone ― can give back to the Art League. I’ll also bid on gala auction items, which range from original artwork and gift cards to a week at a luxurious, roomy (sleeps 12) condo near Aspen, Colorado; a portrait sitting by acclaimed painter Fontaine Jacobs; and two large artworks by award-winning regional painters.
To buy tickets and find out more about the gala and the Art League, please visit GalvestonArtLeague.com, 409-621-1008, and firstname.lastname@example.org.