The annual Stroll Through the Arts Gala will kick off at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday in Fowler-Kellogg Art Center.
After enjoying some wine and hors d’oeuvres, everyone will “‘stroll’ over to the Strohl gallery,” said Betsy Vance, the president of VACI Partners.
Every year, the Partners plan the gala to fundraise for the Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution’s School of Art student scholarships. Vance said the gala has been going on for at least 10 years and is the Partners’ biggest fundraiser. Through its combined fundraising efforts last year, Partners donated a total of $43,000 to the School of Art scholarship program.
Most of the gala will be held in the Strohl Art Center, with local singer-songwriter Kev Rowe performing live music. “Paint Chautauqua,” a live auction of paintings that depict Chautauqua, will be first, followed by a silent auction. Items in the silent auction include a wine basket, eight week long gate passes and pottery from the collection of Joan Lincoln. The pottery was donated in Lincoln’s memory by her family. There will also be a locked “treasure box” with a Movado watch inside. Those interested may purchase a key to try and unlock the box for $20.
“Hopefully you buy the lucky key that opens the box,” Vance said.
Finally, there will be a paddle raise. Vance said the paddle raise, which is running for the second year, is ideal for those interested in donating but who prefer not to buy items. The paddle raise will support a trip for this year’s art students to visit the Albright-Knox and Burchfield Penney art centers in Buffalo.
“They’re really incredible museums, and for the art students, it’s a wonderful experience,” Vance said.
The gala will end at 8 p.m., and Vance guarantees that everyone will be out in time to attend the 8:15 p.m. performance in the Amphitheater.
Lydia Strohl, who, along with Leslie Renjilian, was one of the Partners co-chairs who organized the gala, said having the event in the galleries makes planning easier.
“Because that’s such a beautiful space, it’s really just putting together the food and music,” she said.
“In a large part, that’s what makes the evening,” Vance said. “You don’t need much more than people, a little wine and food to make it a fun evening.”
Tickets are $75 per person and can be purchased at Strohl Art Center or by calling 716-357-6460.