Sarah Jane of the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center models a mask for “The Dark Side of Art,” a pre-Halloween party overtaking the center on Saturday, Oct. 26. Photo by Sarah Jane/Port Angeles Fine Arts Center

Sarah Jane of the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center models a mask for “The Dark Side of Art,” a pre-Halloween party overtaking the center on Saturday, Oct. 26. Photo by Sarah Jane/Port Angeles Fine Arts Center

Fun, art on the ‘Dark Side’

Sequim actor and storyteller Ginny Holladay is one among the performers in “The Dark Side of Art,” a pre-Halloween affair at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center this Saturday, Oct. 26.

Holladay will appear in full costume as Edgarina Allan Poe, raconteur of the 1843 story “The Tell-Tale Heart,” part of the event from 6-9 p.m. at the center, 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd.

Also mixed in to this off-the-beaten-path party: gourmet fare, drinks, a presentation on scary art through the ages and a bit of “the Scottish play,” as it’s sometimes called.

All of this will unfold in both the center’s indoor gallery and its courtyard, which will be illuminated with candles, lights and outdoor heaters. Guests are encouraged to wear masks and disguises — and be ready for a few surprises.

“I don’t want to spoil what we have planned, but I can tell you we’re hoping this will be a few hours where everything is topsy-turvy,” said Sarah Jane, center gallery and program director. “We’re planning for a really great party, with emphasis on the fun and playful aspects of dark art, such as spooky storytelling, mask-making and disguises of all sorts.”

“Dark Side” is a benefit for the nonprofit Fine Arts Center, with tickets at $50 including appetizers, autumnal soups, desserts and entertainment.

To purchase and find out more about the event, see PAFAC.org.

The event is open to guests 15 and older.

Performances will be interwoven throughout the night, with local actors appearing indoors and out. Anna Andersen, artistic director of the center’s summertime Shakespeare in the Woods festival, will join fellow thespian Simon Close, and the pair will explore the ancient witches’ plot that’s haunted a particular Shakespeare play for some four centuries now.

“What dreadful fate awaits anyone foolish enough to say its name aloud?” Andersen asks, adding that the answer will be horrifying and hilarious.

Jane has put together a short presentation on how artists, through the ages, engage with darker subjects — and how the results give us a chance to explore human fears and anxieties. These go from Francisco Goya’s macabre paintings to Kara Walker’s decorative — and disturbing — cut-paper silhouettes.

When guests arrive at “The Dark Side,” Jane said, they will step through a door into an art experience unlike the typical Saturday evening. Jane and center executive director Jessica Elliott dreamed up this event in an effort to add something different to the season’s offerings.

They also hope local residents and visitors will explore the Fine Arts Center, with its free exhibitions and activities. In the gallery, Peninsula College ceramics professor Steve Belz has a solo show of his abstract sculptures, “Taking It In,” up through Nov. 24. Outside, the 5-acre Webster’s Woods park is open from dawn till dusk every day of the year.

To find out more about visiting the center as well as becoming a member, visit PAFAC.org or see the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center page on Facebook or call the center at 360-457-3532.

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