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Art Off Main

Takes place February 6 - 14

By Dan Swartz

Fort Wayne Reader


With all of this dreary Fort Wayne winter weather, the people of our great city need some kind of artistic opiate (in addition to the great shows currently available at FWMoA, Artlink, and elsewhere) to take their minds off of the reality of at least four more weeks of cold. What better excuse to have a weeklong art exhibition/program at the Masonic Temple downtown, kicking off with an opening and a fashion show? “Art Off Main”, is being presented by both the Downtown Improvement District and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, and is being organized by the dynamic duo of Courtney Tritch and Sarah Aubrey.

“Art On East Main” the 2006 antecedent to “Art Off Main”, turned Main Street into a vibrant arts district and opened Fort Wayne’s art scene up to many who were a bit too timid to dive right in by bringing many different groups together. The impetus of the current exhibition, like “Art on East Main”, is all about connectivity and community, bringing many individuals and organizations together to show off a very interesting location downtown and some great art made by local and regional emerging and established artists.

Housed in the Masonic Temple at 216 E. Washington Blvd, one of Fort Wayne’s true architectural treasures, the exhibition will be open on Friday, Feb. 6th at 6pm, and will also include a fashion show, organized by sara rose collins, of local designers, models, and DJ beginning at 7:30pm. The event will also include a live broadcast by WMEE, and be catered and include a cash bar by Mad Anthony’s. This is sure to be a highlight of this year’s art events with its eclectic mixture of artwork and events, with artist’s like Jason Swisher, Alan McLuckie, Elly Miller, Jay Bastian, and many more. As the week moves along, this will be the place to be with an extremely informative lecture by Alan Grinsfelder on the beautiful Masonic Temple building itself, on Tuesday at noon, and “Artist’s Forum” on Wednesday, a place for artists to meet and discuss (or argue) about topics important to them, directed by Charles Shepard, FWMoA Director, a Dance Collective performance free to the public on Friday, and it all wraps up with an elegant Valentine’s evening, which no one should miss out on.

This nine day cultural expedition is a perfect way for anyone to experience what a downtown should really feel like, envelope yourself in the local art scene, meet a few new people, and realize the importance of a strong urban core in any community. Thankfully, Fort Wayne has an enduring, and growing support system for its downtown in the art scene, FWMoA, DID, and a curious and open-minded public.

Daily Schedule: (Visit Downtownfortwayne.com often for all the special events!)

Art Off Main Opening Reception
Friday, February 6, 2009 · 6-9 pm

Saturday, February 7 · 12-4 pm
Exhibit is free and open to the public
Special Activities: 2pm- Theatrical Performance by the Off Main Players.

Sunday, February 8 · 12-4 pm
Exhibit is free and open to the public
Special Activities: 2pm-Home Grown Bead & Candle Shoppe demonstration by Corene Painter

Monday, February 9 · CLOSED

Tuesday, February 10 · 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Special Activities: Learn a Bunch @ Lunch
Beat the daily grind and get out of the office to enjoy this special luncheon lecture! You can view the fantastic art on display and have fun listening and learning-all on your lunch hour! Bring your own lunch or pre-order a boxed lunch.
Alan Grinsfelder, Registered Architect of Grinsfelder Associates Architects will be the guest lecturer and will be speaking on the history and architecture of the Masonic Temple from 12-12:30 pm followed by an optional tour of the building.
Call Sarah at FWMoA (260.422.6467, ext 323) for details or to order your $7 boxed lunch from Deli 620 prior to Feb. 9 at 5 pm.

Wednesday, February 11 · 4-8 pm
Special Activities: 6 pm-Artist Forum w/ FWMoA Executive Director Charles Shepard
Artist Forum is a venue for area artists to air opinions, voice concerns and discuss topics important to them in a town hall style, direct conversation with Charles Shepard.

Thursday, February 12 · 5-7 pm
Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce Networking Event
Combine networking and art for one fabulous evening! Enjoy art, hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar while making great business contacts at this first time event. Don't forget your business cards! Admission is $5/Chamber members and $10/non-members. To RSVP, call the Chamber at 260.424.1435.

Friday, February 13 · 4-8 pm
Exhibit is free and open to the public
Special Activities: 6 pm-Fort Wayne Taiko performance, a program of the Fort Wayne Dance Collective

Valentine's Off Main
Saturday, February 14
6:30 pm - Cocktails & Entertainment
7:30 pm - Catered Dinner by Club Soda

Your extraordinary evening begins with cocktails, art and entertainment and is followed by a romantic sit down dinner in the Masonic Temple-- This is THE place to be this Valentine's Day. Make a night of it and come as a couple or with friends. Seating available for two - eight per table, based on your reservation.

Catered by Club Soda.
$75/for two people includes: (a deal you can't beat!)
Romantic three course dinner (Entree choice of chicken, salmon, steak or vegetarian pasta) Two drink tickets, Live entertainment, Admission to exhibit, Tax, Server Gratuity. RSVPs are required by Monday, February 9. Call the DID at 260.420.3266 for details and reservations.

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