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Tuesday July 29th 2014

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Spring For Some Art

By Janie Cobb

As if to unburden the scarf and boot-clad Pensacolians of their winter weariness, the First City Art Center (FCAC) has announced its Second Annual Spring Fling Art Sale, the opening of its new show “Inspiration,” and its Hot Glass Cold Brew events—all taking place this weekend.

The Second Annual Spring Fling Art Sale, which will be held in the center’s classroom, will feature art works from members of First City Glass Guild and Pottery Guild, as well as resident studio artists.

“We’re creating more programs all the time and for all ages,” Kim Brungraber, president of the pottery department and one of the art gallery members, said. “And that’s why these fundraisers come in handy; they allow us to create and sustain the programs that we have.”

Work from the gallery will be available for purchase during the sale. Both art and functional pieces will be on sale, in addition to a limited number of pottery Easter baskets. The proceeds raised from the art sale will go toward the purchase of new pottery equipment for the center.

The artists of the Studios and Gallery at FCAC will also open their new show “Inspiration” on Friday evening. The show will feature two and three-dimensional works by the 12 studio artists who will also have their studios open for the evening to discuss their work.

“The cross pollination that can occur in a space where other people are working is wonderful for artists because we get the chance to ask someone about what they think about the approach we’re taking, and they may offer a perspective that we’ve never even thought about,” Jennifer Fleming, another of the gallery’s artists, said of her experience at the FCAC. “Another wonderful thing about being at the center is that I have a place to work and then a place show my work here at the gallery.”

In conjunction with the art sale and the opening of the art show, FCAC is also holding another installment of their popular fundraising event, Hot Glass Cold Brew, on Friday evening. Guests may enjoy beverages courtesy of Pensacola Bay Brewery and Escambia Bay Homebrewers. While supplies last, guests can take home a hand-blown glass or hand-thrown pottery cup. Dan Dunn, Executive Chef at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front, will prepare complimentary pork tacos for the event’s guests, while live music by Continuum will be played. Glassblowing by artists Joe Hobbs and Sam Cornman, and pottery demonstrations are also scheduled throughout the evening.

In addition to these events, there will be plenty to occupy the children. FCAC and the Gulf Coast Kids House will conduct art workshops during the evening for children ages four through 11 who will create an art project to take home. Gulf Coast Kids House will be collecting donations of diapers and wipes during the evening.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with FCAC, they were formerly the Belmont Arts and Cultural Center and have been a part of the Pensacola community since 1999. “When we were at the Belmont, we were very small and very limited as to what we could do because of the location. And that’s one of the reasons we moved,” Brungraber said. “Currently we have three buildings involved. This is the first time we’ve had an art gallery; our pottery department has grown two-fold; and our glass department has enlarged as well.

“We’re also trying to create a program to offer pottery in school systems that don’t offer pottery any more. Since we’ve moved into our new location, we have a mentorship program in the glass department, and starting next week, four high school students will be doing glass blowing for a week to prepare them for their college education for going into the arts, which we would not be able to do at our old location. We’re trying to reach all the arts.”

The FCAC offers workshops and classes in everything from pottery and portrait painting to belly dancing and bookbinding. They offer music lessons for children and field trip opportunities to area schools. The Pensacola community has reaped the benefits in FCAC’s belief that “by engaging the community in the creative process, our society is enriched.”

First City Art Center
1060 N. Guillemard St.
429-1222 or firstcityart.org

Second Annual Spring Fling: 5-9 p.m. Friday, March 21; 10 a.m.—3 p.m. Saturday, March 22
“Inspiration”: Opens March 21 and will run through May 6.
Hot Glass Cold Brew: 5-9 p.m. Friday, March 21
Admission for Hot Glass Cold Brew is $25 for non-members and $20 for members. There is no admission fee for the art sale or visiting the gallery itself.