Monday, September 28, 2015

39. Vashon Allied Arts: Vive la France - Picnic in Provence

Thirty nine down. Sixteen to go. 

  The Picnic in Provence was a great party. It had everything that makes a charity auction lots of fun: great entertainment, wonderful art for sale, a vibrant crowd and a fantastic cause. We ran into a couple old friends, made lots of new ones, and of course, spent more than we had planned.

Every year, Vashon Allied Arts has not one, but two sold-out auction nights exclusively featuring the work of Vashon artists. The French picnic theme was beautifully executed with just the right combination of authenticity (think food and wine) and tongue-in-cheek fun – including the opportunity to have a quick portrait done by a local artist. We learned that VAA serves as the focus of a vibrant and close-knit arts community that supports artists, patrons and students. Oh, and did I mention, they love to party?

Henri did my portrait. I was later
 advised that his prodigious talents
 may lie more in the theater than
on the canvas. You can be
the judge below.

Established in 1966, Vashion Allied Arts is one of the oldest nonprofit art centers in the state. Last year it produced 111 performances and events with over 21,000 attendees. VAA offered 140 classes that served over 1,400 students (many of whom received VAA scholarships), and paid $350,000 to visual artists, teaching artists, and performers. Hundreds of artists (including over 100 Island artists) showed work in the VAA galleries. Vashon Artists in Schools, a partnership between VAA and the Vashon Island School District, is in its 28th year. Last but certainly not least, VAA is building an impressive new building and campus that will feature performance, classroom and gallery spaces.

I wasn't particularly flattered
that our dinner table-mates
thought I resembled Henri's portrait.
The woman next to me, a partner
 in a large Seattle law firm, thought
it looked like an axe-murderer.

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