And a really big one at that.
But this party is one that not only brings you a great time with a great bunch of friendly folks, Pell City Center’s first ever Benefit Masquerade Party brings with it a collection of local art you’ll find far too tempting to pass up, a concert sure to include all your old favorites and new ones, too, and the chance to take home the prize for the city’s best masquerade “get up.”
“This is so exciting for us,” said Kathy McCoy, artistic director for Pell City Center.
It all just exemplifies what Pell City Center is all about, she said.
“We have performing artists, visual artists, and people who may not be artists, but who love all of it coming together for our beautiful facility that continues to bring an outstanding array of entertainment here to Pell City,” she said.
This was the concept the center was designed for, to host both local and visiting entertainers and artists under the roof of the most advanced venue in town.
The fun gets going at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 26 in the center’s atrium lobby, where a grand reception greets guests. There will also be refreshments and the costume judging.
Then, the action moves into the center’s theatre where the live art auction features well known auctioneer David Timms to drum up the crowd to give their best for the donated talents of the participating artists.
What’s especially interesting, McCoy adds, is that the center has been able to promote and feature emerging brand new artists who may be a surprise to some, having just recently tapped into their talents and are now bringing them to the forefront.
“That is one of the really great things, that we have such a base of established artists here, and that they just keep emerging,” she said. “It’s really amazing.”
Contributing artists Deanna Capps, Julie Funderburg, Susan Wall, Donnie Todd and Nettie Bean have all donated pieces for the event, and they all have their very own special touches that make their art their own.
Todd, who also happens to be a member of the entertainment for the evening, the bang up band known well to the area as The Wing Nuts, has ventured out into the art world himself this year.
But Todd doesn’t use a paintbrush for his creations; he uses his musical background – 42 years of guitar playing – to inspire his work.
He was inspired by an idea he saw offered for sale and knew he could do the same, maybe even better, for a lower cost.
“It was really my wife Ellen who gave me the idea,” he said.
What happened was Mrs. Todd saw her husband’s musical instrument of choice transformed into a lamp advertised for about $600.
That drove Todd to the drawing board, so to speak, and the result so far is several guitars turned lamps since.
The one he’s offering for the benefit is on the special side.
It’s a bright red Epiphone model, made by the Gibson company, turned into a table sized lamp by the handy musician.
Todd even uses the guitar’s actual amp connection to place the AC cord into, and the guitar’s headstock rises above the matching shade much like a finial would.
The lucky person who makes the winning bid on this piece will even have the guitar signed by each member of The Wing Nuts, Todd said.
For Funderburg, it’s a large and colorful abstract piece she calls “Strung Out,” and it’s one that captures the title’s essence.
Bold brush strokes build the base for the painting and the colors boost the effect to its overall impact
Funderburg picked up a paintbrush about a year ago and she hasn’t stopped since.
She likes color and it shows, and so does the loose, interpretative style she paints in.
Funderburg is also an active member of The Pell City Players, which calls Pell City Center home, and has been a cast member in almost every Player production.
Capps is one of the newest members of Pell City’s artist community, having just started about a year ago.
But in that short time, Capps has turned out dozens and dozens of pieces, from gentle landscapes and close up looks at nature’s creatures to using her own imagination creating angels and other scenarios.
Capps got started after attending one of Bean’s instructional sessions held at The Council of the Arts’ Artscape Gallery in downtown Pell City.
She soon discovered her own direction using oils, and her Pell City home bears witness to her dedication to the pursuit.
She’s literally covered most of the walls in her home with her work, and created an in home working studio next to her bedroom in an oversized dressing and bath area.
Ample windows allow the light she needs, and Capps has even taken in a student or two since discovering her new interest.
There will be several of Capps’ paintings in the auction lineup; she and McCoy were finalizing their choices this week.
Wall uses her photography skills to capture the prints she creates, and she focuses on a variety of subjects. Her work is displayed in The Council of the Arts Artscape Gallery in Pell City.
For Pell City Center, the fundraiser means adding support for continuing arts programs and events at the center.
Tickets for the occasion are $20, and are available at the Pell City Center offices at 25 Williamson Drive (beside Pell City High School and the center) and also at The World of Music in downtown Pell City, where’s Todd’s lamp creation is also on display until the event.