It’ll be a moment of refinement and fun with red lipstick staining glasses of Valpolicella and steaming bowls of pasta enjoyed under the starry sky.
With the strains of O Sole Mio crooned in the background, artists will gather to talk about the paintings they have brought along to be auctioned.
And it’s all happening on the property where one of Vernon’s most celebrated artists, Sveva Caetani, once lived, she who was secluded from the world, and later set free to explore her creativity and share it with her community.
Funds raised from A Splash of Red, taking place Aug. 25, will go to the Caetani Cultural Centre Society, which now runs the house and property as an artist education centre, complete with artist studios and residences, where artists not only create art, they share it with the community through courses, markets and other events.
“People need to know the Caetani Cultural Centre is here and surviving and making its own distinction,” said Heidi Maddess, who sits on the Caetani centre board, and is one of the artists donating her work to the auction.
“If we don’t have a venue or outlet that provides art, people move to the next town,” added Vernon and internationally renowned mural artist Michelle Loughery, who once lived in the Caetani house.
“Artists need to take initiative of what they create and how they raise funds, and this event is a good way for them to connect with their audiences on a more personal level.”
Held in the well-maintained gardens at the Caetani centre, A Splash of Red will be an elegant Italian-style evening, where everyone is encouraged to dress in red, black and white.
And this is an event where a hearty appetite for food, wine and art is required.
Guests will not only be greeted with a hand-painted glass of Italian sparkling wine, prosecco, with appetizers to help wash it down, while musicians perform, they will nosh on a catered Italian meal, with an attention to local ingredients, served al fresco and family style at a table of 10, headed by an artist and his or her partner.
Italian wines will be served through the evening, with Okanagan Spirits’ grappa and a decadent tiramisu as dessert.
This is an event Sveva herself would have enjoyed and supported, said local singer Judy Rose, who will perform Italian love songs throughout the evening.
Rose and fellow organizer, artist Angelica Jaeger, worked on the Reciprocation calendar project that raised funds for the Caetani centre a number of years ago, and both are keen on making A Splash of Red an annual affair.
“The house has served the community through the art gallery and the city, and now it’s time to give back to the house. We have a vision of keeping Sveva’s memory and the Caetani house alive. The house needs a lot of love and attention,” said Rose.
Besides supporting the evolution of Caetani’s vision in providing a location for an artistic and cultural centre in the North Okanagan, event organizers aspire to create art education in a social setting, bringing the public and artists closer together.
That’s why the art auction will be short and intimate with only 20 pieces by renowned regional artists up on the block; plus each artist will be introduced and will talk about his/her particular work, said Jaeger. In addition, the Caetani studios will be open for visitors to peruse and meet the artists.
“We wanted to get the artists and audience to connect and meet,” said Jaeger. “Personally, I like to talk to people who make the art. I like the social aspect of it.”
Artists participating in the auction include Julie Oakes, David Montpetit, David Alexander, Kenna Graff, Mike Jell, Sandra de Vries, Gail Short, Heidi Thompson, Carolina Sanchez de Bustamante, Lynne Hossay, Christine Kashuba, Gale Woodhouse, Bob Kingsmill, Colleen Couves, Doug Alcock, Neil Erickson, as well as Loughery, Jaeger and Maddess, with a collection of art being offered up by Jody La Fontaine.
With the purchase of a ticket, attendees will not only get the dining experience and art auction, but also the opportunity to win original pieces of art donated by emerging local artists such as Hannah Griffin, Trish Dixon and James Postill.
Also available is the Four Pillars of Destiny essential course by local feng shui expert Teresa Hwang, a copy of Caetani’s Recapitulation – A Journey book, edited and published by Heidi Thompson, a free massage by Dianna April, jewelry by Susan Richards, a felt piece by Mireille Gourlay, and 20 tiles with the new Caetani logo by Sanchez de Bustamante.
Only 100 tickets at $100 each are being sold, and can be purchased at the Bean Scene coffee house in Vernon until Aug. 22. Gates to the Caetani Cultural Centre at 3401 Pleasant Valley Rd. will open at 6 p.m. Aug. 25, with dinner starting at 7 p.m.
For more information on the evening and the featured artists, or to help sponsor the event, email ASplashofRed@hotmail.com or visit the blog at okanagansplashofred.wordpress.com.