Everyone’s a winner at the art lottery

By: Eileen Wilson Press Tribune
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Not everyone will be lucky enough to win the lottery in their lifetime. But at Lottery for the Arts, everyone’s a winner. The brainchild of Roseville Arts’ Executive Director Barbara Dolder, the inaugural event will be the first of its kind in the Sacramento area. While new to the area, art lotteries have been around for decades. Dolder learned of a lottery event while visiting friends and family back east. “I was back visiting, in Alexandria, Va., and went to the Torpedo Factory, a gallery where they’ve been doing an art lottery for over 40 years,” she said. “I thought, something like that would really work in Roseville.” Tickets cost $175, and include admission for two, to the gala event and one lottery number. As the lottery numbers are randomly called, attendees will have their choice of a piece of original art to take home. Dolder said an event of this sort hinges on the generosity of area artists, who are willing to donate their one-of-a-kind creations. “We’re really proud that a lot of our local, well-known artists are participating,” said Darla Yetter, chairwoman of the Roseville Arts board. “We’re so happy they think it’s a worthwhile cause, and they wanted to donate pieces,” she said. Creations from artists like Veronica Nagy, whose work was selected for the city of Roseville’s centennial poster, Judi Stickney, Diane Ruhkala Bell and Joe Strickland, will be the highlight of the evening. More than 100 works of art have been donated for the event, with an average value of $360. An impressive $36,000 in unique art will go home with lottery ticket holders. “Some large, some small, a large variety of media,” Dolder said. “We have some very traditional works, still lifes and some really modern and whimsical. We also have some interesting photography, outstanding design pieces, and more.” The gala event begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by raffle drawings and the calling of lottery numbers. The Blue Line Gallery will display each piece through Sept 11, and Dolder and Yetter encourage people to come browse the art in person, selecting several favorites, so when you’re number is called, you can quickly determine the piece you most want to take home. Visitors to the gallery can also vote for the People’s Choice Award, an honor every participating artist hopes for. If you’re unable to visit the Blue Line Gallery, the Web site has the lottery pieces on display, as well. “Hopefully everyone understands that they’re guaranteed to go home with an original piece of art,” Yetter said. “And its value will be at least the price of their ticket.” The event will also offer food and drink for the art enthusiast, with appetizers from Aubergine and desserts from Tahoe Joe’s and Divine Desserts. Lone Buffalo Vineyard will provide the spirits. The event will include music, and a lively emcee. “Five thousand school kids came through on field trips with trained docents since the gallery opened a year and a half ago,” Yetter said. “More than 1,000 families have participated in hands-on Saturday activities for kids – that gives you an idea of how much we’ve served the community, and filled the need left behind with cuts in school budgets.” Yetter said funds have even been used to help strapped school districts pay for transportation to the gallery – a field trip the kids would otherwise do without. “We need profitable fundraisers so we can continue to provide these great exhibits,” Yetter said, though they have received support from local business like PG&E, Rabobank, and others, funding is always needed. Tickets are selling fast, and only 90 tickets will be sold. Yetter encourages anyone who is interested to purchase their tickets on Roseville Arts’ Web site as soon as possible.