Arts Richmond is gearing up for its annual winter gala, with a blue and gold theme this year, the “Mysterioso 2013” event will kick off on Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. at Liberty Place on East Washington Street across from the Arts Richmond building downtown Rockingham.
A new feature added last year to the gala will be presented again this year: the Cake Showcase.
The cakes, themed for a blue and gold masquerade, must be large enough to provide a bite-sized sample for approximately 150 people and must be three-dimensional, not a sheet cake. Cakes should not exceed three-feet tall and three-and-a-half feet wide. Trophies will be awarded for best presentation, best taste and best overall.
Gala guests will purchase votes for $1 and there are no minimums to the amount of votes someone can submit. The money goes towards the Arts Richmond fundraiser and total votes per cake will be tallied to determine best overall winner. Cake artists are encouraged but not required to solicit sponsorship of their cake.
“Last year’s cake contest met our expectations,” said Jimmy McDonald, member of the Board of Directors’ Cake Committee. “It was an idea that the board had talked about for several months and decided to add it to our annual fundraiser. Because this was the first of what we hoped to be many we researched similar contests to determine our guidelines. The contest was well received by local bakers and they provided a great addition to the event. I am looking forward to seeing and tasting the cakes during this year’s contest.”
Although enthusiastic about the cakes, McDonald won’t be contributing to the spread.
“No, I will not be baking a cake for the contest,” said McDonald. “I tried to make a cake from scratch one time and it was a disaster. I’m a much better taster than baker.”
Another feature of the fund-raiser winter gala is the silent auction, which will showcase several pieces of local art, including a favorite from replica-building crafter Roy Armstrong of Norman. The piece is the General Store, a three-dimensional replica of a wood-siding store with a front porch. The store replica sits on stone surrounded by grass, one of Armstrong’s favorite design aspects of the piece.
“I made this in 2010, and it’s my 87th replica,” said Armstrong on Thursday at Arts Richmond. “It’s one of my favorites, that’s why I held on to it for so long. It feels real to me. I could see myself sitting on the edge of those steps or on that porch. It’s just a feeling I got when I made it. The store was built from a picture. What inspired me were the boulders it was sitting on.”
Armstrong said he finds it interesting that buildings were propped up that way many years ago, and today expensive building permits are issued for the digging and laying of foundations.
According to Arts Richmond Executive Director Laura Daskal, the silent auction collection is still growing, and each piece will begin with a minimum bid.
Daskal said she expects the fundraiser gala to have the same success as last year.
“Ticket sales are going well,” said Daskal. “I anticipate selling out again this year.”
Mysterioso 2013 is the annual Arts Richmond Winter Gala fund-raising event and proceeds will be used to support the ongoing projects and cultural programs at Arts Richmond, Richmond County Arts Council, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at email@example.com.