Denim and Diamonds
Going once, going twice
What: Denim and Diamonds
WHEN: 7pm Sat., May 1 (silent auction items can be bid on through Sun., May 2)
Cost: Registration is free
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Gather ‘round the virtual campfire, pardners. We’re here to tell you the tale of the Jansen Art Center and the brave souls who worked to transform the former Lynden City Hall and fire station into a bastion for creative expression that currently houses six art studios, a 110-seat performance hall, two floors of exhibit space, a cafe and a gallery shop.
Built in 1929, the upper floor originally consisted of the City Council chambers and the public library. City offices were on the main floor—as was the Fire Hall. The oversized siren on the building’s roof was christened “Big Ole,” and can be heard from five miles away when it’s activated.
Now, it’s not likely that Big Ole will go off when the Jansen Art Center hosts its virtual “Denim and Diamonds” fundraiser Sat., May 1 in celebration of the arts and in support of the center, but that doesn’t mean the event isn’t worth making noise over.
More than 10 years after a visioning committee was first formed to figure out how the needs of the community could be met in an affordable space where artists could create, teach, share and engage their fellow citizens in an appreciation of the arts—and nine years after its official opening—the Jansen Art Center is doing its best to weather the pandemic. Virtual classes and concerts have taken place during mandated closures, and although the exhibit spaces at the nonprofit have reopened for public perusal, it’ll be a while before long-form classes or live music make a return.
This is where patrons of the arts can step in to help secure the J’s future. Those who sign up to bid for the live auction will be vying for art pieces such as Chris Moench’s “All the Earth and All the Air” prayer wheel, a two-day “Let’s Get Dirty” event with ceramicist Lynn Giuliani, a sunset cruise on Bellingham Bay, your name in bestselling author John Grisham’s next novel, and a plethora of outdoor adventures. Livestreamed country music by Mike Bonds, fabulous emcees, videos featuring studio artists and community members and leaders, prizes and more will be part of the night’s festivities.
Meanwhile, a silent auction taking place through Sun., May 2 features more than 60 pieces of art from painters such as Ria Harboe, Kris Ekstrand, Ben Mann, Susan Bennerstrom, Ruthie V., and FishBoy; photographers Tommy Gibson and Louise Magno; sculptors Brian O’Neill and Jay Jorgensen; jewelry by Dee Perry, Trish Waldon, and Diane Niehof; and much more. Experiences, gift cards, and other goodies such as hanging baskets, books, artisan chocolate and fun farm signs are also among the items up for bidding.
To give this campfire tale a happy ending, wrangle some time in your schedule to bid on the items up for either silent or live auction. While you’re at it, stop by the Jansen Art Center to check out the latest exhibits and see if you can catch a glimpse of Big Ole.
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