Discover All Things Regional in Central PA’s art and culture scene. Join hosts Cary Burkett and Joe Ulrich as they make artistic discoveries throughout the midstate. From music and visual arts to theatre, museums, literature and more! Listen every Wednesday and Friday on witf 89.5 and 93.3 for features highlighting the best and brightest cultural happenings in the region.
Beautiful houses, great food, great people and great art. That's the short description of the Summer Soirées being held by the Art Association of Harrisburg, but there are many aspects to these gatherings that make them special. The soirées take place at various unique and historical houses throughout the area, and these settings cultivate a casual and social atmosphere.
"The host families have a pretty unique experience [in which] they get to showcase their homes," says Dauphin artist John Holtzman, "and I look at it more as a party and meet and greet than an actual business opportunity."
Jonathan Frazier, an artist from Wormleysburg, says that some people may be intimidated by art galleries even though they shouldn't be, and that the soirées may be an easier way for those interested to view art. "I think these are very friendly affairs, and having food and refreshment helps. And of course all the artists are present so I think that gives additional meaning to the artwork for the collectors."
"You get to socialize with people and have good food and listen to music and then see a lot of really great art," says Harrisburg artist Steve Wetzel.
The Art Association originally began the soirées as dinner parties back in the early 90's. Carrie Wissler-Thomas, the President of the Art Association, hosted the first one at her house. "The next host made the event huge. It was not a dinner; it became the first real soirée, so they evolved very quickly from the simple meet-the-artist-dinners."
There are four more soirées scheduled throughout the summer. A list of dates and locations is available on the Art Association's events page.
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