Instead of bringing people to the arts, the Friends of the Visual Arts are taking arts to the people.

A silent and live auction on April 5 at the Anniston Country Club will feature artworks by several prominent local artists — a few of which are featured on this page.

The evening begins at 6 p.m. with an exhibit of donated art to view, with music by a Jacksonville State University jazz band and a buffet dinner. Attire is “black and white — interpret creatively.” Proceeds from the fundraiser go to provide scholarships and art supplies for art students at Jacksonville State University.

There will be etchings, prints, screen-prints, oil paintings, large-scale drawings, jewelry, photography and more. A watercolor by the late Julian Jenkins will be up for bid, as will art donated by other artists.

The JSU Art Department holds ongoing exhibits throughout the year. There are juried student shows, faculty shows, alumni shows, BFA and BA senior shows and more. Exhibits are in the Hammond Hall and Round House galleries, most of them on view for about a month.

Artists from other regions are invited to demonstrate and speak to students, exposing them to diverse ideas and techniques, according to Seth Johnson, chair of the art department.

But recently, exhibits have not attracted the patrons the art department needs, Johnson said. Faculty members added during the last 15 years are from regions throughout the country — rather than from this area, as instructors were before — and evidently a certain social advantage was lost.

“We want a stronger connection with the community,” Johnson said. “We want people to come and see what we are capable of doing.”

Tickets to the gala are $50 for members of Friends of the Visual Arts. Tickets for non-members are $85, or $140 per couple. Country Club members pay $75 each or $140 per couple. Corporate tables seating six are available for $500.

For more information, call Brooklyn Miles, art department secretary, at 256-782-5626.

Hervey Folsom writes about the local arts scene every Sunday. Contact her at herveyfolsom@yahoo.com.

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