Arts council to hold reception for photo contest, Safe Haven project

March 22, 2013

LUDINGTON — Ludington Area Arts Council is in the midst of two fundraising projects that will be celebrated together at a reception in early April.  The 5th Annual Online Photo Contest was held in February.  Judging is currently underway.  The Safe Haven project continues through the month of March with a silent auction of birdhouses on exhibit at Ludington Area Center for the Arts (LACA).  Silent auction bids start at $20 with bidding to come to a close at a public reception for both projects on Saturday, April 6 at 6 p.m.

Eighty-two artists from around the United States submitted 489 photographs for the 5th Annual Online Photo Contest.  This year’s contest raised $2,445 in support of improvements to the LACA Gallery  putting the total raised through this annual project, to date, at $14, 976.85.  Judging has been ongoing since March 1, with photographers names remaining anonymous.

All 489 photos will be featured in a slide show presentation at the Saturday, April 6 public reception where the contest winners will be announced. Winners receive gift certificates to Todd and Brad Reed Photography, the competition’s sponsor.  The Grand Prize winning photo will be framed by A.M. Galleries and on permanent display at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts.

The Safe Haven project, a collaboration between LACA and  Communities Overcoming Violent Encounters (COVE), features nearly 100 birdhouses decorated by area second graders, local artists and COVE personnel.  COVE is a nonprofit organization serving Lake, Mason and Oceana counties.  The mission of COVE is to provide shelter, advocacy and protection to victims of domestic and sexual violence. It also provides the same services for homeless women and children, and it educates communities about the root causes of violence.  COVE staff and volunteers participated in the construction, painting and decorating of 20 birdhouses for the exhibit and silent auction.

Under the direction of Carrie Jeruzal, Pentwater Schools art teacher, the children’s birdhouses were a joint creation with at least three students collaborating on each birdhouse in its construction and painting.   The Ludington Home Depot donated the birdhouses and paint, and its personnel were on hand to help the children with construction at LACA on Friday, March 8.  That same day, the children learned about the work of local artist Lynda Fox Blankinship, who spoke about her exhibit We Are Women, which was installed in the LACA Gallery at that time.

A group of local artists gathered at a workshop on Saturday, March 2 to paint and embellish birdhouses for the Safe Haven project.  All of the birdhouses created by our local students, artists and the staff and volunteers from COVE are on exhibit and up for silent auction now through April 6 at the LACA Gallery.  Final bids will be accepted and birdhouses awarded to the winning bidders at the April 6 reception.

The reception will be held Saturday, April 6 from 6pm to 8pm at the LACA Gallery, 107 S. Harrison Street.  It is free and open to the public.  Light refreshments will be served and entertainment will include the music of Dick Bourgault and Lakeshore Children’s Chorus.  Presentation of the Online Photo Contest awards is expected around 7pm.  For questions about the reception or silent auction call LACA at (231) 845-2787.  LACA is open Tuesday-Saturday, noon to 5:00pm.  For information about COVE contact Jamie Catlett at 843-2541 or the crisis line at 800-950-5808.

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