PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Officials from the Wintergreen Arts Center and the University of Maine at Presque Isle are teaming up to raise money to help establish a cultural center downtown.
The two groups are organizing and will host a 10×10 Art Auction from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 4, at the Wintergreen Arts Center during the May 2012 First Friday Art Walk.
As part of the 10×10 event, organizers are providing participating artists with blank 10-inch-by-10-inch canvases to fill in any way they choose. Artists have until the end of April to complete their work.
The pieces will be put on display in the Barresi Financial Gallery at the arts center starting May 4. A silent auction and reception will be held that evening from 6 to 9 p.m. Bidding will end at 8:30 p.m. and winning bids will be announced at 8:45 p.m.
Wendy Gilman-Zubrick, executive director of the Wintergreen Arts Center, said she is excited to see the results of the artists’ work. She noted that a number of high-quality artists from all parts of Maine, New England and throughout the United States already have signed up to take part.
The money raised will allow the arts center to expand its programming. The funds also will support Wintergreen and UMPI’s efforts to create a downtown cultural center with established museum-quality downtown gallery space on the floor above the arts center.
“The funding is especially needed to help sustain our after-school art enrichment programming as our Department of Education Arts and Parks grant comes to an end in November,” said Gilman-Zubrick. “Wintergreen programming is on an upward arc and the funds we raise as part of this auction are going to help us to continue moving in that direction.”
Heather Sincavage, UMPI assistant professor of fine art, also was excited about the event, which she said would draw more attention to art and encourage others to get involved in the field.
“We’re very excited about having gallery space like this set up in a building that is so closely associated with art and its connections to community,” Sincavage said. “Not only will this be an opportunity to feature more of our regional talent in a centralized location but also we are excited to have a facility that will offer national and international exhibitions to our local community.”
Sincavage said she believes that the new gallery also will create vibrancy in the downtown.