3/29/2011 11:07:00 AM Stars come out to celebrate progress of Markay renovation
Photo By Pete Wilson
Jackson-based Randy Adams (center) displays the Al Burger watercolor he purchased for $975 during the Art Auction at the Annual Evening With Arts event held Saturday night to benefit the Markay Cultural Arts Center. Flanking Adams are Southern Hills Arts Council Executive Director Barbara Summers (left) and Auctioneer Patrick Ball.
Pictured is the husband/wife duo of Brian and Lori Lintala of Lintala Photography in an unfamiliar position -- in front of the camera lens instead of in back of it. The Lintalas took keepsake photos of attendees to help raise money for the Markay Cultural Arts Center at Saturday’s Evening With The Arts event.
Supporters of the Markay Cultural Arts Center were literally "starry-eyed" as they enjoyed the Annual Evening With The Arts fundraiser Saturday evening, March 26, at the Wagon Wheelers Square Dance Hall in Jackson.
First, the theme for this year's event was "Stars and the Silver Screen" with appropriate decorations adorning the facility and each table named for a prominent Hollywood star or starlet of yesteryear.
But the largest applause was not for Gable or Garbo, but instead for the positive news that the auditorium renovation project at the Markay Cultural Arts Center continues to move forward with the current major construction phase nearly completed.
All proceeds from Saturday's gala fundraiser will further benefit the Markay and its future as a site for live performances in its restored and renovated auditorium.
In addition to the price of admission, money was raised through an art auction presided over by Patrick Ball, a Jewelry Chest Raffle sponsored by Alan and Jeanine Terry of A. L. Terry Jewelers, a Silent Auction, a Match Pack Raffle, and a 50/50 Raffle.
Professional photographers Brian and Lori Lintala of Lintala Photography were also on hand to take photographs of guests against a Hollywood-style backdrop for a cash donation. The evening's door prize was a $100 gift certificate at A. L. Terry Jewelers.
Southern Hills Arts Council (SHAC) Board member Mark Anderson served as the emcee of the program and he introduced both SHAC Executive Director Barbara Summers and SHAC Administrative Assistant Lori McDowell. Mrs. Summers, who has been in charge of the Markay since its opening in 1997, received the evening's only standing ovation when she was introduced.
"When you're talking about the arts in Jackson County, you're talking about Barb," Anderson declared. "She is our face; she represents us." He later praised her for her "leadership and vision" in driving the renovation project.
Anderson also offered a special acknowledgment of the husband/wife duo of Jonathan and Susie Blanton, who will be relocating to the Columbus area in connection with Mr. Blanton's new position with the Ohio Attorney General's Office.
Both have been strong supporters of the Markay and Mrs. Blanton is a long-time board member, who has not only donated art for the Markay cause, but has also taught youth summer art classes.
Anderson also recognized the SHAC committee which was responsible for planning the Evening With The Arts event, led by chairwoman Maxine Plummer. Other members are Susie Blanton, Gerry Bowman, David Furbee, John Lewis, Megan McKee, Clarence Rice, Brenda Weber, Samantha Wechter, and Cora Willett.
Buyers of corporate tables for Saturday's event were General Mills, Holzer Medical Center-Jackson, EdwardJones and the Milton Banking Co. General Mills and Holzer Medical Center-Jackson were event sponsors along with Pauline Johnson and Sally Mutzig.
Mrs. Summers also mixes infectious enthusiasm and articulate and detailed reporting in her construction updates and her report Saturday night was no different as she updated audience members on the ongoing project to renovate the 1930's-era auditorium while also restoring main elements of the original look and decor from both the 1930's and 1940's.
She quickly drew a positive buzz from the audience when she noted the current $325,000 construction phase was nearly complete. An electrical inspection has been completed and a general inspection punch list should be checked off in the next 3 or 4 work days, she reported.
"We are saving a piece of Jackson County history and we are creating a vibrant community arts center that will have the only public performing space in Jackson County," she said.
The current phase of construction has involved the following: The box office area highlighted by custom-created stained and etched glass panels, a new men's restroom, roofing improvements, and a 1,000-square-foot thrust stage.
While the project has come a long way, it is not finished.
"We still have several things that have to happen," Mrs. Summers advised, noting that consoles, a sound system, and a lighting system all have to be installed. Computer hardware and software still must be acquired for the box office to help with the marketing work. The 280 seats have not been installed, but all have been purchased as part of an earlier fundraising campaign.
As she spoke, Mrs. Summers did not know what the remaining project costs and construction schedule would be until another review is completed by architects.
"In a month, we should know how much we need," she advised. "We have been enormously frugal and we don't owe a dime."
Both Mrs. Summers and Anderson thanked members, volunteers and supporters for their continuing support and reminded the audience the project has come a long way.
"I can't imagine what we started with and where we are now," Anderson said.
The Markay benefited from generosity on both sides of the auction equation as local and area artists donated works for the live Art Auction with local supporters then stepping up to make the purchases. Immensely popular and always excitable auctioneer Patrick Ball was right in the middle of these transactions while Mrs. Summers introduced each piece. Each buyer was presented a small replica of an Oscar from Alex Terry.
The largest single price given was for the final piece, $975, from Jackson-based accountant Randy Adams, for a watercolor by Al Burger, entitled "At The Markay."
Jackson area resident and Renovation Committee member Dorothy Hazelrigg was the overall major buyer of the auction as she purchased three different pieces and also successfully bid for one of the keys that would open the Terrys' Jewelry Chest. All together, she spent $1,550 in the Art Auction.
Other buyers in the Art Auction were: Jim and Kim Milliken, Dr. Chuck Shumate, Montgomery Machine Shop, Phyllis Michael, General Mills, Joe Kirby, Jackson Insurance Brokerage, Judy Wiggins, Einon Plummer, Susie Blanton, Derrick and Elyse Allison, A. L. Terry Jewelers, and Carol Downton.
Artists who donated works for the Art Auction included: Laura Moul, Kit Dailey, Carol and Jim Click, Stan Greer, J. R. Bradley, Mary Wile, Bob Eisnaugle, Beth Frazee, Mary Lynn Vititoe, Carol Downton, Susie Blanton, Dr. Chuck Shumate, Phyllis Michael, Charlotte Stewart, Mike Taylor, Evelyn Pierson, Debbie Shumate, and Al Burger.
The winners of the Jewelry Chest Raffle were Suzanne Lindsey (pendant), Cora Willett (earrings), and Dorothy Hazelrigg (pearl necklace).
Beth Furbee was the winner of $165 in the 50/50 Raffle and Stacey Clagg won the $100 gift certificate from A. L. Terry Jewelers.