‘The Light Side of Art’ a virtual PAFAC fundraiser

The Port Angeles Fine Arts Center’s first virtual benefit event kicked off on Oct. 10 with a week-long campaign focusing on The Light Side of Art.

Taking place across multiple online platforms, the fundraiser focuses on how art inspires hope and joy even in difficult times.

“We interpret the ‘light side’ to mean all kinds of art that bring us a sense of light, life, levity and hope,” said Sarah Jane, he arts center’s Gallery and Program Director.

“It includes art that is profoundly inspiring and enlightening: art that shows us a vision of a better world that could be. But it also includes art that is light-hearted, playful, humorous, and fun: an old favorite movie that still makes you laugh every time, or an infectious tune that immediately gets your feet tapping.”

Like many other events this year, the center’s virtual fundraiser format is a response to COVID-19 safety restrictions, which have also put an additional strain on the organization’s already-tight budget.

“It’s been challenging to adjust to the abrupt change and we certainly feel the financial impact of losing in-person events,” PAFAC executive director Jessica Elliott said. “(But) artists and grassroots arts organizations like ours, remain committed to empowering our community through the arts.”

“The Light Side of Art” includes a series of brief interviews and insights from people who can speak to the center’s impact in the community. Through Oct. 16, these will be shared across the center’s website (pafac.org), email list and social media pages, along with an invitation to contribute to the fundraising campaign.

Supporters who donate $30 or more throughout the week-long campaign will be invited to a festive evening of entertainment via Zoom on Saturday, Oct. 17.

The event is modeled after an old-fashioned variety show as it features several prominent local and regional artists. The lineup includes Diamond Point sculptor/educator Ross Brown and Seattle artist Steve Jensen.

PAFAC’s Wintertide Light Art Experience, which debuted last year, will extend to three months long this year, allowing visitors to the center at 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd. time to enjoy the outdoor lighted art display while social distancing.

In addition, the Wintertide Makers Market that connects holiday shoppers with local hand-made gift items is expanding to include more artists and to offer online as well as in-person sales.

Artist calls for both events remain open; anyone interested in participating may visit pafac.org and select “Artist Opportunities.”

The Port Angeles Fine Arts Center’s Websters Woods Sculpture Park is open daily from sunrise to dusk, while the Esther Webster Gallery is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday-Sunday, with social distancing requirements in place.