Celebrating art, community support and dessert Saturday

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By Special to the Monitor

The Art Center at Fuller Lodge has expanded its reach to include every resident in the county of Los Alamos.

With the inauguration of its first Biennial Membership Drive, Raffle and Donor Recognition, the Art Center Board of Directors wants to inform everyone in the county that the Art Center is more than a place for practicing visual artists or those who appreciate the visual arts but is a cultural and educational center for all.

The Art Center has made a direct membership appeal, over a four-month period, to the entire population of 19,000. The membership drive includes upgraded benefits and a raffle for contributed items valued at more than $11,000. Some of the items include a digital camera, tickets to the 2009 season of the Santa Fe Opera and valuable works of art.

From 7-10 p.m. on Saturday in the Fuller Lodge, the Art Center will host a Gourmet Dessert Social, Donor Recognition and Raffle. Anyone who purchased a raffle ticket or took a membership that included a ticket is welcome to attend. Memberships and raffle tickets will be sold at the door.

A stand-alone raffle ticket costs $20, however, the Art Center is offering memberships that include raffle tickets in the price. The evening will include music, fine desserts, beverages and a drawing for the raffle items.

In addition to expanding its membership, the Board of Directors is conducting a nomination drive to find people within the community interested in serving on the ACFL Board during the coming year. The board year starts July 1 and nominations are accepted through April 17.

The ACFL website, www.artfulnm.org, has contact information, or interested parties may call the Art Center to get more information about serving on the Board of Directors. Involvement at the Art Center is guaranteed to be fun, exciting and challenging.

Throughout the year the Art Center holds eight juried exhibitions. The current exhibit in the main Gallery contains work by artists from the Española Valley Fiber Arts Center and will run through May 2.

This exhibit is followed by one titled,  “Sculptural Ideas” and was curated by the executive director of the Art Center, John D. Werenko with assistance from Frank Morbillo.

Morbillo is a renowned sculptor and former foundry manager at Shidoni in Santa Fe. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Art Center.

 One piece of his work is currently being displayed at the Art Center. The work, titled “Broken Monolith,” is a combination of steel and bronze. It is a method that Morbillo has pioneered and perfected.

“Broken Monolith” will remain at the Art Center through the fall. He is no stranger to Los Alamos. He has shown his sculptures in an outdoor exhibition at Ashley Pond organized by Shidoni Gallery and is the creator of the fountain in front of the Bradbury Museum titled “Entropy Column.”

Among the many programs offered at the Art Center are year round opportunities to take classes and workshops.

The Summer Art Camp for children is a very popular educational venue that this year extends from June 8 through July 24.

Children who have completed first grade through sixth are welcome to register for half or full day classes.

Anyone interested in registering their child should contact the Art Center from 10 a.m.-                                                                                 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Recently Werenko taught an Art Appreciation class that focused on Impressionism.

This class included a tour of the Fine Arts Museum in Santa Fe and galleries on Canyon Road. Werenko refers to his classes as “The Peripatetic (walking) Artist Series.” Classes at the Art Center are offered at anytime and on any topic if there are at least five people wanting to register. Contact the Art Center if interested in taking a class or if you would like to have one offered. People with artistic or craft skills are encouraged to teach at the Art Center and should contact Werenko at 662-9331.