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The new normal in today’s pandemic world is found on the world wide web and Paint Ellensburg will be out there this weekend spreading the works of the Kittitas Valley art world.

For over 50 years, Gallery One Visual Arts Center has changed with the times. It has grown from a small volunteer run community art gallery out of the basement of what is now known as the Yellow Church Cafe to a two-story nonprofit arts center that offers classes, exhibits and community events.

NEW FOCUS

“Our focus throughout the pandemic has been to continue to serve the community. We have hope that by being there for them, they will be there for us when we need them most, which is now,” executive director Monica Miller said.

“Also, putting the auction online reduces any barriers to participate which is what we are all about. We’ve learned a lot about arts participation online and we plan to keep learning and growing, pandemic or not, by practicing creativity, adaptability, resiliency, and empathy.”

This year it has developed a new online format for the auction were art patrons can bid safely from home, but still see the art in person at Gallery One.

LIVE ONLINE

Join in the fun on YouTube live Friday 6 p.m. for the kick-off of the signature event, then head downtown on Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to see the Artists in Action. Gallery One will also feature works of Robin and Scott Mayberry, along with John Hauth.

Like many organizations worldwide, Gallery One has been forced to either cancel, postpone or rethink completely the way they meet their mission. Since the middle of March, Gallery One has worked tirelessly to pivot almost every aspect of their functionality, and now it faces its biggest challenge of all, providing arts education.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT

To do so, they’re going to need the community’s support and that means raising money during a pandemic and changing their most beloved event, Paint Ellensburg, drastically.

This years’ event will be a hybrid event, meaning that community members can come into Gallery One to see the work in person, but they will be invited to bid online. Items will be available at www.paintellensburg.com beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday.

Anyone can tune in for a preview on Friday via the gallery’s YouTube page https://www.youtube.com/c/galleryoneellensburg at that same time. The auction will finish with a virtual “Watch Party” at 6 p.m. Sept. 26 on YouTube during the Live but Virtual Event.

DONATED ART

Artwork donated by artists from around the region will be featured in the auction in addition to many experiences donated by local businesses and board members. A select number of pieces will be available only during the Live Virtual Auction on Sept. 26 on YouTube.

During that time, guests will be able to bid using the online software and Raise the Paddle to continue Gallery One’s education efforts which will have to look very different this year. Gallery One is developing plans to create a Teen Art Apprentice Program, producing more of the popular Art2GO kits and art lessons for classes, and continuing to create online learning opportunities for all ages.

RAFFLE ITEMS

Guests will also be able to purchase a one-in-50 opportunity to win anything in the Live Virtual Auction by purchasing a Golden Ticket and bid on their beloved desserts many of which can be picked up in time for the Live Virtual Auction.

For more information visit www.paintellensburg.com.

Rodney Harwood: award-winning journalist and columnist. Lover of golf and the written word. I can be reached at rharwood@kvnews.com

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