New BCAC venture well-received

Published 6:10 am Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lifestyles & Features Editor

As Arnold Barnes put it, “If you missed this, you missed the event of the year.”
Barnes was referring to Thursday evening’s Little Art Exhibit reception at the Washington Civic Center. The event was hosted by the Beaufort County Arts Council and was the climax of a three-day fundraising exhibit.
The exhibit was supported by, and featured the works of, dozens of artists, according to BCAC Executive Director Joey Toler. Most are from Beaufort County, but others from New Bern, Wilmington, Jacksonville, Virginia and New England also participated. Among those whose work was featured in the show were art students from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, as well as two promising high school art students from Beaufort County.
In January, the BCAC distributed 200 small, blank canvases — each measuring 8 x 10 inches — and over recent weeks 195 were returned by artists who generously gave of their time and talent, Toler said. Various mediums were represented in the finished pieces, including oils, acrylics, watercolors, photography, three-dimensional and collages.
Art connoisseurs bought tickets, priced at $30 for one painting and $100 for four, and an opportunity to take home original pieces of art. All proceeds benefit the arts council.
In keeping with the Little Art theme, BCAC members Sue Nicholson and Pat Mansfield planned appetizers in miniature, scale to the paintings themselves.
The reception took on a celebratory tone, with the added twist that no one knew what artwork they would receive.
“I’ve had wonderful feedback. Everybody seems to have really enjoyed themselves,” Toler said of the event. “It was really interesting to see some of the swapping that was going on afterward.”
Although Toler announced that the Little Art Exhibit fundraiser would be a biannual event, many of those in attendance expressed the hope that it would be done every year.
“I could be persuaded,” Toler said with a laugh. “But I want to be sensitive to our artists because they’re the ones that make it happen.”