PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles Arts Council has awakened after having been dormant for many years, and among its projects will be a fundraiser for the Port Angeles Community Players on Friday.
The initial impetus for reviving the arts council last summer was to have it take responsibility for Art on the Town, said sculptor Bob Stokes, owner of Studio Bob and president of the arts council.
“Many of the downtown sculptures need to be moved due to the construction projects, as well as needing maintenance, cleaning or restoration, with an eye toward adding new sculptures,” Stokes said.
The arts council also will put energy into invigorating the Second Weekend-Saturday Art Walk.
“Beginning with these two tangible projects is just the beginning,” Stokes said. “There are many more ideas and plans for future, so stay tuned.”
Friday’s event is to raise money for the Port Angeles Community Players.
Doors will open at 6 p.m. at Studio Bob, 118 1/2 E. Front St., which is upstairs.
This joint Community Players/Arts Council event started when Kathy Balducci approached Stokes with a stack of 23 seat backs from the old Olympian Theater.
The Olympian Theater (formerly The Mack) was at 113 E. Front St. from about 1920 to 1965. The theater was razed and the area became the parking lot by Michael’s Fine Dining restaurant.
The antique seat backs were adopted by local artists and repurposed into art pieces that will be sold by silent auction on Friday.
The silent and live auctions of artistically repurposed antique theater seat backs will begin at 6 p.m. The top four to five pieces will go to live auction at about 7:30 p.m., with Richard Stephens serving as auctioneer.
All funds from the auction will go to the Port Angeles Community Players.
Live music will be provided by Phil Morgan-Ellis, long time music teacher, symphony member and occasional actor with the Port Angeles Community Players. He will perform on his viola.
In conjunction with the auction, dinner will be offered. The spaghetti dinner with bread, salad, soft drink and a vegetarian option will be prepared by Jackson Smart, local artist and arts council board member, along with other board members.
The cost of the dinner will be $15 with proceeds to go to the arts council and its projects.
Beer and wine will be available for purchase, as well.
Currently, the arts council is meeting strictly as a board, but it is looking toward general membership meetings in the future, Stokes said.
Those who want to support the Port Angeles Arts Council as a general member can do so with a $25 annual membership. Until general meetings start, members will receive e-mail updates on council projects.
The new board of the arts council was assembled with a wide cross section of representatives. The current board consists of Stokes (President) — Studio Bob, Harbor Art Gallery, Jessica Elliott (Vice President) — Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, Richard Kohler (Secretary) — artist, Sam Calhoun (Treasurer) — Arts Northwest, Jackson Smart — artist, Eric Neurath — Juan de Fuca Foundation, Steve Belz — Peninsula College, Andrew May — Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce, Beth Witters — Port Angeles Downtown Association, Rachel Hagaman — Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, Clea Rome — WSU Extension Service, Jeff Tocher — artist, Corey Delicat (or representative) — City of Port Angeles, Charles Smith — formerly in charge of Art on the Town and Gail McLain — artist.
Funds raised from the sale of the seat backs on Friday will go into the fund to replace the Community Playhouse’s well-used curtains, said Barb Frederick, community players board member.
The Port Angeles Community Players was established in 1952, when few entertainment options existed on the North Olympic Peninsula, Frederick said.
As the Olympian Theater was being torn down, a new theater — the Port Angeles Community Playhouse at 1235 E. Lauridsen Blvd. — was being planned. Many elements from The Olympian — the chandeliers, door curtains and some of the seats — were purchased to be used in the Playhouse.
When the Playhouse opened in 1971 it was with the seats that originally graced The Mack Theater in the 1920s, Frederick said.
“We are thrilled that one hundred years later, elements of those original seats are being used in a new way that continues to celebrate the arts,” she said.