ART DART - Taking Aim & Striking a Bullseye for the Saginaw Art Museum

Posted In: Culture, Community Profiles,   From Issue 647   By: Robert E Martin

18th October, 2007     0

Creativity has never been in short supply in the Saginaw Valley, yielding world-class musicians, poets, and painters whose reputations far exceed the parameters that define our particular physical area.

In 1948 the doors to what is now known as The Saginaw Art Museum were first opened to the public. So as this dynamic & venerable institution embarks upon its 60th Anniversary year, it seems entirely appropriate that the creative prowess from many disciplines & mediums converge in a completely innovative fundraiser for the Saginaw Art Museum known as the Art Dart!

Happening on Friday, October 26th at 6:00 PM at the Saginaw Castle Museum (500 Federal St.) and organized by Patricia Shek, artist Sue Pumford and Laurie Seibert, the concept for Art Dart! Is equally mirthful in its simplicity as it is beneficial to the institution it benefits and artists it supports.

Having assembled 170 + pieces of original art and artifacts throughout the community, most notably world-renowned creations from artists such as Sally Franz, Sam Carter and Julia Roecker, participants pick out a name tag of a famous artist such as 'Picasso' or 'Matisse', and when that name is called they literally 'dart' to the displayed art pieces they yearn to own and 'tag' a bid on the ones they wish to procure.

"We've truly received a trove of riches from the community," notes Pat Shek. "A Chihuly glass piece valued at over $6,000 has been donated for a major raffle prize, and notable artists such Susie McColgan, Russell Thayer, Larry Butcher, Sue Pumford, Stevie Davis, Mary Beth Basil are all represented."  Indeed, the amount of artists that have come forward in this endeavor are too numerous to mention. "Ralph Misiak has even donated a pencil drawing from a rare series by Sam Carter of the old law library," she notes.

Particularly enticing is the fact that James Van Tiflin from Citizens Bank (formerly Second National) has come forward, donating 100 pieces of its historic collection to Art Dart! in order to benefit the museum.

" Second National has 520 pieces of original art in its collection, largely stemming from an art initiative that was started by Harold Evans years ago," explains Van Tiflin. "Over the years we've allocated a certain percentage each year for the purpose of purchasing art & supporting local artists. The vast majority of that collection is from artists in the tri-city area, and we began doing this back when I started at 2 nd National in November, 1970."

According to Van Tiflin, the decision was made to donate 20 percent of its collection to Art Dart! for several reasons. "First, it's difficult for us to maintain an inventory of unused pieces. We don't have the type of climate control needed to do it justice and it became difficult for us to move the pieces around, so a segment of our collection became static."

"The Saginaw Art Museum faces unique challenges today, so I thought it would be a good idea to take the 'extra' pieces we had in storage and give them to the art museum so they could either hang on the walls or be disseminated back into the public," continues Jim.

"This is not something that comes to us out of the blue, as the bank that I work for has always been supportive of the arts community. I was born & raised here in Saginaw and know there's a need for us to compete with communities from a cultural perspective. We need an arts museum, we need a symphony and a choral society, we need a zoo because these things make Saginaw a classy place and help us compete with the rest of the world."

Art, Entertainment & Ambience

While patrons & supporters browse the artistic offerings open to bidding, Jim Perkins & Noel Howland and Scott Baker & Universal Expressions will be performing at both ends of the hall. An emcee & barker will remind everyone to get their special raffle ticket and view the art and other 'dartable' treasures on display.

From 7 PM to 7:45 PM an immaculate top-drawer buffet dinner will be served, followed by the 'Call to Dart'. At this point all participants will gather n a large room where this entire treasure-trove of art will be displayed. Seven to eight names will be picked at random and they will 'dart' for their treasure and 'label' their desired item. All participants will have their chance to 'dart'.

At the end of this segment there will be a drawing for raffle prizes, which you need not be present to win. The Chihuly glass piece referenced earlier will be on display at the Saginaw Art Museum prior to the event and also the evening of Art Dart!

Following the raffle, there will be an Afterglow of dessert & coffee offered in the Morley Room.

Tickets are priced at $250.00 for two people and guarantee at least one item from the Art Dart Collection, which is valued from $400 to $5,000 or more.

Final Thoughts

The artist Henry Moore once wrote that 'Because a work of art does not aim at reproducing natural experiences, it is not an escape from lifeŠbut an expression of the significance of life, a stimulation to greater effort in living."

The same can be said of The Saginaw Art Museum, which in its anniversary year has fostered, nurtured, invigorated, inspired, and distinguished Saginaw from many of its peers in the tri-cities.

As Director Les Renker notes when asked about the goals of Art Dart! "This isn't like buying a ticket to a concert or season tickets to an organization. My hope is that people throughout the community will come together to support this event. We depend upon fundraisers and membership drives to keep the doors to the Art Museum open."

"It costs over $100,000 a year just to keep the temperature right for all the rare art housed in this building, and those costs would be there if the Museum were open or closed, just to retain our accreditation."

"The Museum provides a tremendous service to the community. 350 families have come forward simply to donate pieces for our current Art & Spirit of India exhibition, so I encourage people to experience the unique opportunities afforded by attending this event."

On October 25th a Wine & Cheese Reception will be held with participating artists at the Saginaw Art Museum from 5-7 PM.

For tickets to Art Dart! on Friday, October 26th, please phone 989-754-2491.


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