Dinner, dancing at galleries to support art scholarships


Chautauquans view exhibited work in Fowler-Kellogg Art Center during Stroll Through The Arts in 2010. Daily file photo.

Joanna Hamer | Staff Writer

Last season, mid-afternoon on Thursday, July 21, the power went out while Lynn LeFauve and Jamie Jamison were in the middle of putting together the VACI Partners fundraising event, Stroll Through The Arts.

“We were in the gallery setting up, and it was really hot, just like it is now, and the electricity went out for 16 hours — the whole grid blew,” LeFauve said. The event’s co-chairs looked at each other: What would they do with the event, the band and all the food?

“The Athenaeum was fabulous,” LeFauve said. “We regrouped and reorganized for Sunday.”

The Athenaeum is catering again for the event at 5 p.m. Thursday in the Strohl and Fowler-Kellogg art centers — and this year, the power is turned all the way up.

When strollers arrive, they will be greeted by hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and a live band playing in the piazza. The Igniters, the reincarnation of a 1960s Pittsburgh band, will keep guests dancing all night with their ’60s and ’70s covers and original music.

“It truly is a stroll,” LeFauve said. “The intention is to go through each of the galleries and the sculpture garden.”

“It’s a really fun, casual, art-appreciating evening,” Jamison said.

Tickets for Stroll Through The Arts are on sale through Monday at the Strohl Art Center, and all proceeds go to the School of Art Scholarship Fund. Dinner will be served in stations around both galleries, allowing guests to view the art and the auction items.

“The event is going to take on its own energy,” LeFauve said. “Above all, enveloping all of it, is the art and the venue, which is the most beautiful art you can imagine.”

“It is also a wonderful opportunity to see the newly installed exhibition,” Jamison said, referring to “Anonymous: The Contemporary Portrait,” which opens Sunday with a reception Wednesday from 3–5 p.m.

The centerpieces of Stroll Through The Arts are the auctions, live and silent. There will be two season gate passes up for bids, along with the original and restored, hundred-year-old lockers taken out of Fowler-Kellogg during renovation, with various other prizes.

The evening of food, music and art helps VACI Partners raise money to make the School of Art more accessible to students.