Battle Creek

Seeds of creativity to be celebrated in upcoming fundraiser for Art Center of Battle Creek

Sowing the seeds of creativity yields beautiful works of art and a more vibrant community, hence the title of the Art Center of Battle Creek’s May fundraiser – “Heart of Art:  Sowing the Seeds of Art.”

Michelle Dunkelberger, assistant to the Art Center’s executive director, said this is the third year for the fundraiser, scheduled for Saturday, May 11 from 3-6 p.m. at the Art Center, at 265 East Emmett Street.

“The committee came up with the idea because it’s really what we do here,” Dunkelberger says.  “Building of community as well sowing the seeds of creativity is such a healthy outlet.”

The fundraising goal is $10,000 to be put toward the Art Center’s education programming. Dunkelberger says classes are offered year 'round to people of all ages.

“The money that we raise is crucial to our operations,” she says.  “We try to offer as many programs as we can that are free of charge. It’s very rare that we have an exhibit that has an admission fee. We want to be accessible to everyone.”

An exhibit titled Celebrating Life featuring the work of Ann Arbor artist Miriam Brysk will be the setting for this event which takes place in a picnic-type atmosphere. 

Local DJ Sam Gray will provide music and entertainment. In addition, there will be an Art Hat Fashion Parade and attendees are encouraged to either create a hand-made hat or repurpose and embellish an existing hat. Three categories will be judged for door prizes: Women’s Spring Hats, Men’s Hats, and Occupational Headgear.

Unique auction items this year include: “A Day with Shelly Sulser” from the Battle Creek Shopper News; a baking class with David and Nancy Schweitzer; an 1800s dinner where the participants cook it in the “old way” with Jim and Karen Miller; a throwing class for two with ceramic artist Alix Cunningham; a Raku Party with Dallas and Carol Shoesmith.  One-of-a-kind pieces donated by local artists will also be available in a silent auction.

Flower and vegetable seeds in packets with designs by Art Center volunteers also will be available for $1 each. Proceeds from these sales will be used to provide scholarships for children’s art classes and anyone who may need financial assistance, Dunkelberger says.

“A number of those packets were designed by our Thursday Painters Group,” Dunkelberger says.  “They started as an open format class for people working in different media like watercolor or oil. A soft critique is offered. After class at noon, they do a potluck lunch and stay for open studio in the afternoon.”

The Art Center gets a little over 20,000 visitors annually and has been in Battle Creek for 71 years. Despite this, Dunkelberger says, “It’s not uncommon for people to say they never knew we were here.”

For more information about the fundraiser, contact the Art Center of Battle Creek at (269) 962-9511.

Read more articles by Jane Simons.

Jane Simons is a freelance reporter and writer with more than 20 years of experience and also is the owner of In So Many Words based in Battle Creek. She is the Project Editor for On the Ground Battle Creek.
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