The Port Angeles Fine Arts Center staff is pictured at the 2019 Summertide Festival. From left are Lauren Bailey, community outreach coordinator; Sarah Jane, gallery and program director; and Jessica Elliott, executive director. (Courtesy photo)

The Port Angeles Fine Arts Center staff is pictured at the 2019 Summertide Festival. From left are Lauren Bailey, community outreach coordinator; Sarah Jane, gallery and program director; and Jessica Elliott, executive director. (Courtesy photo)

Port Angeles Fine Arts Center to start week of virtual fundraising

PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles Fine Arts Center’s first virtual benefit kicks off Saturday to begin a week-long campaign focusing on The Light Side of Art.

“We interpret the ‘light side’ to mean all kinds of art that bring us a sense of light, life, levity, and hope,” said Sarah Jane, gallery and program director, in a press release.

“It includes art that is profoundly inspiring and enlightening: art that shows us a vision of a better world that could be. But it also includes art that is light-hearted, playful, humorous, and fun: an old favorite movie that still makes you laugh every time, or an infectious tune that immediately gets your feet tapping.”

The Light Side of Art’s message will unfold across multiple online platforms, with a series of brief interviews and insights from people who can speak to the center’s impact in the community offered from Saturday through Oct. 16 on the center’s website, email list and social media pages, along with an invitation to contribute to the fundraising campaign.

Like many other events this year, the center’s virtual fundraiser format is a response to COVID safety restrictions, which have also put an additional strain on the organization’s already-tight budget, said Executive Director Jessica Elliott.

“It’s been challenging to adjust to the abrupt change and we certainly feel the financial impact of losing in-person events. That being said, artists and grassroots arts organizations like ours remain committed to empowering our community through the arts,” Elliott said in the release.

“Although the PAFAC was quick to create online programming, we lack the financial resources to sustain and fully bring to scale what our community needs. This fundraiser provides a unique opportunity for the public to support us.”

Supporters who donate $30 or more throughout the week-long campaign will be invited to a festive evening of entertainment via Zoom on Saturday, Oct. 17.

The event will be modeled after an old-fashioned variety show, Jane said, adding that the evening will feature several local and regional artists.

“I’m especially looking forward to an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek inside artist Steve Jensen’s enormous Seattle warehouse space, which houses the artist’s studio and living space as well as a remarkable private art collection,” Jane said.

The evening also will feature Diamond Point sculptor and educator Ross Brown sharing insights on light as a primary artistic design element.

This is a particularly relevant topic given the center’s upcoming Wintertide Light Art Experience with its focus on lighted outdoor artwork, Jane said.

“It’s shaping up to be a great mix of education, inspiration and lots of laughter,” she said.

The Wintertide Light Art Experience, which debuted last year, will be extended to three months long, allowing visitors additional time to enjoy the outdoor lighted art display while social distancing.

Additionally, the Wintertide Makers Market, which connects holiday shoppers with local handmade gift items, is expanding to include more artists and to offer online as well as in-person sales.

Artist calls for both events remain open. For more information, go to and select “Artist Opportunities.”

The Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd., includes the 5-acre Websters Woods Sculpture Park — open daily from sunrise to dusk — as well as the Esther Webster Gallery — open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

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