320 art lovers turned out Saturday’s night at the Petaluma Arts Center for ”Arts d’Light,” the Petaluma Arts Council’s inaugural celebration of local creative artists. Vicky Kumpfer, PAC executive director, called the event a “huge success” and hopes to turn it into an annual event.
Light was the operative theme both inside and outside the arts center. For the past week, in anticipation of the party, the council’s exterior has been illuminated on the Lakeville Highway side with a dazzling computerized light installation created by Petaluma lighting wizard Chad Dunbar. Inside the center, the galleries which are currently
exhibiting stone sculptures by Edwin Hamilton and drawings by Chester Arnold, were adorned with 89 additional artworks created and donated by local artists especially for an “Objects d’Light” silent auction to benefit the Arts Council.
Also screening on the main gallery’s back wall was an urban scape created especially for the event by Nicholas van Kridjt which consisted of film footage shot entirely from his car window on a drive from San
Francisco to the Petaluma Arts Center. Van Kridjt’s luminous oak tree, projected on another gallery wall, provided the perfect backdrop for many of the evening’s photographs.
In addition to fine art, Petaluma catering wizard Tracy Gentry and her team of volunteers coordinated a virtual feast of local gourmet foods, desserts and premium wines donated by over 60 local businesses, galleries and wineries. Some of the more well-known sponsors included Carter’s Classic Catering, Jerome’s Bar-B-Que, Lala’s Creamery, Viva Cocolat, Petaluma Coffee and Tea and numerous local wineries including Adobe Road Winery, Azari Vineyards, Hanzell Vineyards, Jacuzzi Family Vineyards, Imagery Winery, Kendall-Jackson Winery, Pflender Vineyards, Singer Cellars, Sonoma Valley Portworks and Petaluma’s Lagunitas Brewing Company.
Local musicians serenaded guests. Los Gu’achis, featuring Steve Della Maggiori, Barbara Arhon and Argus Courier editor Chris Samson played the music of Mexico as the party began. Bruce Kurnow strolled the galleries playing blues/roots tunes on his harmonica. Later in the evening, jazz pianist Bob Johns played keyboard with Steve Della Maggiori on bass as people enjoyed port, coffee, a delectible self-serve belgian chocolate fondue fountain and homemade ice cream.
While people partied indoors, Clifford Hill a member of the Santa Rosa kinetic artist collective Krank, Boom, Clank offered complimentary rides around Petaluma on his amazing
Hennepin Crawler to those nimble and sober enough to climb aboard the foot-powered contraption. While most of the partygoers adorned themselves glowing baubles, Theresa Hughes, Clifford’s wife and owner of Atelier Therese in Santa Rosa, was enchanting in a period costume she created that was clearly meant to recall the pre-electrical era.
The evening’s silent auction was a huge success with many pepole participating. The highest bid offered was for Sean Paul Lorentz’s sculpture “Betty’s Ornament” which raised $555 for the Petaluma Arts Council.
After the auction winners were announced, DJ LaShonda ushered in the Afterglow Dance Party and the lights were turned down for dancing. “We are so proud that so many people came out to the celebration and are expressing what an asset the center is to our commnity,” said Vicky Kumpfer. “Light is essential and a universal and we couldn’t be more d’lighted with the turnout.”