By Anne E. O’Keefe
Rockford Area Arts Council
For the third year, Womanspace will be presenting “Passport to the Arts” in which their seven-acre campus is transformed. This year it will be transformed into the Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico, where Georgia O’Keeffe lived in the latter part of her life. The event is Saturday, August 6 from 5-9 p.m. at Womanspace, 3333 Maria Linden Drive.
The committee, staff and artists do an incredible job of altering the space to embody the artist to whom they are paying tribute. Last year I was lucky enough to be involved as the emcee for the event. This year my partner in crime will be Dennis Horton. The guests are encouraged to dress to fit the atmosphere.
This year’s “Artscursion to O’Keeffe’s Southwest” will feature O’Keeffe-inspired art for silent auction and raffle. The generous artist contributing to the raffle are: Sue Gilbert Abare, Melissa Paluzzi, Ray Schulz, Margret Hesler Hynes and Sheila Anderson. In addition, 24 local artists have donated work for the silent auction. The work is on display now during regular gallery hours through the event. Visit womanspace-rockford.org or call 815-877-0118 for gallery hours. A preview reception was held last Friday to start building the enthusiasm for the big event August 6.
Each year there is an artist creating live to draw the guests into the magic of the evening. Cindy Hughes will be sharing her talent with live basket-weaving. A Southwestern chuck wagon style dinner catered by Pinnon’s will include chicken, steak and a vegetarian option. The signature drinks are works of art themselves. Two signature drinks will delight the crowd this year, a Prickly Pear Martini and a whiskey-based Snakebite. The Lone Canary will be performing followed by Destination Unknown, expectant to fill the dance floor!
“This event is a reinvention of our previous Outreach for the Arts events, which aimed to make art accessible to everyone,” says Cherie Heck, who co-chairs the event with her husband, Dave. “We are definitely keeping with that theme by offering a good number of pieces for raffle or silent auction. We’re fundraising for Womanspace, but we want people to go home happy after having a great night and hopefully winning a new piece of art!”
Womanspace is a not-for-profit organization offering programs for women, men and children to enhance body, mind and spirit, with a focus on the creative arts, holistic health, interfaith exploration and environmental stewardship. If you haven’t visited the campus before, this event is a perfect way to meet the people that make the magic happen. There are multi-media art studios, galleries, a gift shop, beautiful gardens and a much-celebrated labyrinth.
Tickets for the event are $50 per person and can be purchased online at womanspace-rockford.org, by phone at 815-877-0118 or in person at Womanspace, 3333 Maria Linden Dr. Raffle tickets are $10 each or eight for $50 and can be purchased over the phone, in person or at the event.