LOOK TO THE SKY: Local gallery throws solar eclipse viewing party, hosts raffle and auction for DREAMS
The countdown to totality is on. We’re officially less than a week away from seeing the first total solar eclipse in the U.S. since 1979, and nearly 100 years since it was viewable in the nation from coast to coast (see page 30 for more). For those who aren’t stuck sneaking out of the office with a homemade shoe box projector in tow, Eclipse Artisan Boutique invites the Port City to celebrate the phenomenon with some of their featured artists. The sister store to Blue Moon Gift Shop will host “Total Eclipse of the Art” from 1 p.m. through 6 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 21.
“Since we’re called ‘Eclipse,’ we naturally felt like we needed to do something to commemorate such a rare event,” curator of the event, Angela Bossut, says. “We really thought it would be an exciting way to connect art with science.”
Everything at Eclipse Artisan Boutique is handmade and one-of-a-kind, adding to the overall theme of rarity and beauty in our world. A handful of artists have donated pieces specially created for the event, including paintings, ceramics and sculptures.
“The owner of the gallery felt we needed to also give back in some way,” Bossut mentions. “For our grand opening event, we gave donations to DREAMS of Wilmington, so it was a natural fit for us to do a raffle to benefit them. It’s extremely generous of the artists to donate as much as they have, since they are still trying to make a living, as well.”
As guests arrive, they will receive a free pair of eclipse-viewing glasses, which the folks at Eclipse are careful to confirm are NASA-approved. Though, they only have enough for the first 100 people.
“We planned the event to begin well before the eclipse actually takes place, and end several hours after it’s complete to give guests who may also be attending other events a chance to stop by,” Bossut explains.
Aside from the eclipse, guests will have the opportunity to meet some of the artists who have donated their works. “At this point, we are representing about 200 artists,” Bossut states. “They’re local and regional, but we have about 25 to 30 artists attending the event.”
Guests will be able to observe the rich colors of vegetation in Janet Sessoms’ oil painting, “First Flush of Morning II,” or see the curious colors and gleaming Swavorski crystals in Artful Notions’ “Time and Space” sterling chain necklace. “At the end of the event, we will be having our raffle drawings,” Bossut says. “The first prize is our group of 22 donated gorgeous pieces, and totaling over $5,000 in value.”
The other prize is a sculpture donated by local artist Justine Ferreri, called “Moon Goddess.” “Justine makes beautifully whimsical pieces,” Bossut says. “She’s also a teaching artist at DREAMS. She wanted to raise money for the organization herself, so she is selling raffle tickets for $5 each to raise $500 total.”
Along with the raffle, there will be a special painting up for silent auction created by some of the DREAMS’ students during their summer camps. “One of our artists created a custom frame for the piece,” Bossut adds. “We will be walking around all afternoon to encourage folks to bid on the painting and enter the raffle drawings.”
Admission is free to “Total Eclipse of the Art.” There will be free valet parking and refreshments.