Celebrate the season with art

The Blanden’s Holiday Open House is Saturday

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Eric Anderson, director of the Blanden Memorial Art Museum, holds a painting of himself by artist Delayne Segar that’s part of the silent auction that will conclude during the Holiday Open House event on Dec. 8 from 4 to 8 p.m.

When Blanden Memorial Art Museum Director Eric Anderson joined the museum in 2014, one of the things he did was to read through old bulletins and newsletters.

There he found mention of a Holiday Open House.

Anderson decided to revive the tradition starting with a small event the first year and growing it each year.

“It was something they used to do years ago. I thought it would be nice to do this. It was really small the first year,” he said. “It’s gotten really good.”

This year’s event, scheduled for Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m., is more than about just celebrating the holiday.

“We want to not only celebrate the season, but celebrate local artists and invite the community to be part of a magical evening.”

The night of music, food and art also concludes the Extended Gift Shop that has been open in the West Gallery since Nov. 6. It features the work of local and regional artists — all for sale outright or part of the silent auction that closes at 7 p.m. the night of the celebration.

“Bring your checkbook,” Anderson said. “Thirty percent of the price goes to the Blanden. It goes directly to the Art Education Program. It’s geared toward keeping fees low for classes, purchasing supplies and other costs.”

Guests will also be able to enjoy a variety of treats, including some supplied by Anderson’s mom, Lynn Anderson, of Estherville.

“My mom makes an awesome assortment of desserts and sweets,” he said.

In addition, food and treats from Tea Thyme/Thyme to Shop are on the menu, as well as a variety of beverages.

There’s also a wine pull.

“Members of the board donated bottles of wine,” he said. “We’ll have corks with a number on them in a bowl. You buy the cork and you get the wine.”

Of course, a holiday celebration is not complete without music and there’s going to be lots of that. The lineup includes Zeke DeBoest on piano, the St. Edmond Catholic School choir, Bad to the Trombone, the Fort Dodge Senior High Choir and Gabriel Alves.

Visitors will also find the museum decorated for the holiday. The decoration will showcase the work of event planner Barb Vonsak, owner of Perfectly Done by Barb.

Door prizes are also on the agenda.

“We have gift cards for Central Perk, Blanden coffee cups and other Blanden swag,” Anderson said.

The Blanden is located at 920 Third Ave. S.

“It’s a whole great lineup of events, food and amazing art,” he said.