The College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) hosted their annual fundraising event, Arts Bash, on Saturday.
The evening festivities held in the Noel Fine Arts Center included an art sale, student performances, demonstrations as well as food and drink provided by local sponsors.
The purpose of the event is to create scholarship funds for students within the Department of Art and Design and the Department of Theater and Dance.
Julie Sittler, marketing specialist for COFAC, explained why this event has been so successful over the past 14 years.
Arts Bash attracts an audience because of “the opportunity to buy really good artwork from students,” Sittler said. “It’s nice to have student artwork because they’re just budding artists,
seeing the performances and the energy of the students, and being able to try new foods and mingle with their friends. It’s a nice way to get out, especially in the middle of the winter, to have a good time.”
The art sale, showcased in the Carlsten Art Gallery, consisted of artwork donated by students. Once a piece is sold, half of the proceeds go back to the student, and half goes toward the scholarships.
Pieces included art in a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures and “wearable art.”
“We try to encourage people to dress artfully,” Sittler said. “This year, we tried to do what’s called Bring Back the Bash. When this began, it started as a more art dress event, and we’re trying to re-instill that. That’s why some of us are wearing hats.”
“Wearable art” within the sale included jewelry, decked-out neck ties and even a pair of gloves covered in googly eyes.
Entertainment for the evening was also provided by students. They performed for guests by singing, dancing and bringing to life excerpts of theatrical productions.
The emcee for the evening was Aaron Thielen, an alumnus who majored in musical theater and is now artistic director at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, Illinois.
“We have a lot of really successful students who love our college and come back and help make this event every year,” Sittler said. “We try to get our alumni to come back and talk about what it’s like.”
There were two demonstrations in which attendees could participate. “Stage Makeup: Blood, Guts and Gore” was put on by the Department of Theater and Dance and “Portrait Art” was done by the students of Professor Diane C. Bywaters.
Thirteen food and beverage vendors sponsored the 2017 Arts Bash, including Shaw’s Jamaican Kitchen, Christian’s Bistro, Starbucks and Main Grain Bakery.
Though Arts Bash is an annual event, the organizers create diversity from year to year.
Not only do the art pieces supplied and the performances done each year vary, this year featured a preview party with private performances, interaction with the student artists and special treats were offered prior to the opening of the show.
“We want people to be able to express themselves and enjoy themselves and the atmosphere in our college,” Sittler said.