Photo: Welcome to Owensboro – Acrylic, 2013
Luci Mistratov, Louisville, KY
Collection of the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art
The 2015 annual BUFFALO GALA at the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, October 3, will feature auctions, gourmet cuisine, spirits and live jazz. Complementing the event is an exhibition of paintings from the annual BUFFALO EN PLEIN AIR PAINTOUT documenting Owensboro as it appears in 2015.
The 6:30 to 8:30 Gala, sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. R. Wathen Medley, Jr., Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, Riverfront JAM, Ken-Tron Manufacturing and Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, will be highlighted by a gourmet buffet prepared by Campbell Club Executive Chef Matt Weafer, featuring all locally-grown produce and meats. The evening’s entertainment will feature jazz.
Special features of the Gala are silent auctions offering a wide variety of items, including contemporary and estate jewelry, antiques and decorative arts, weekend getaways, sporting events, local entertainment and dining packages.
Local and regional artists from surrounding states will visit Owensboro for the BUFFALO EN PLEIN AIR PAINTOUT prior to the Gala to render paintings of familiar local sites, its people and special events. Five of the artists have been invited to each donate a painting to be auctioned as a benefit for the museum. These contributors will be featured at the Gala as the “Bronze Buffalo Artists.”
The Paintout requires that artists complete paintings on site and out of doors, producing a quickly executed impression of their subjects. All of the paintings completed in the three-day competition will be presented in a one-night exhibition and offered for sale at the Gala. Purchase and Merit Awards totaling $3,000 will be distributed by the juror, Jim Cantrell.
Featured in the Gala’s auctions are a weekend retreat in the Smoky Mountains, University of Kentucky football tickets, a golf outing for four at Victoria National Golf Course in Evansville, and dinner for four at the Campbell Club. Early decorative arts include 19th century bronzes. Contemporary arts and crafts items are highlighted by blown glass, original paintings, woodcarving and sculpture.
Reservations are necessary, and admission is $50 per person. Friends of the OMFA Foundation receive a discount, and their admission is $40 per person. Tickets may be purchased online at www.omfa.us or by phoning the museum at 685-3181. Proceeds from the Gala will be designated to benefit the museum’s continuing education and outreach programs in the community and region.
The Buffalo theme for the Gala is based upon the museum’s two heroic-sized bronze buffalo installed in its Ryan Park along Frederica Street. The bronzes were commissioned to initiate the Bronze Buffalo Trace, a visual arts documentation designed to celebrate the origins of Owensboro. Present-day Frederica Street began as a buffalo trace through which settlers made their way to the banks of the Ohio River to establish the settlement of Yellow Banks.
The bronze buffalo, Into the Wind and Meadowlands Pair, were gifts to the museum and the community from Mary Lou Steele and her late husband, Robert Steele, and Mayor Ron Payne and his wife Denise, respectively. They were created by the noted American wildlife artist, T. D. Kelsey, of Texas.
In addition to the EN PLEIN AIR PAINTOUT exhibition, guests at the Gala will be able to view the current exhibitions, including TREASURES AT THE OMFA, more than 200 two- and three-dimensional works of art from the museum’s 20th century art collection.
The Owensboro Museum of Fine Art is located at the corner of 9th and Frederica streets in Owensboro, Kentucky and is open Tuesday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; and weekends, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Admission is free but donations are encouraged. For more information, visit the museum’s website, www.omfa.us or phone 270-685-3181.
This article was published in the September/October issue of Owensboro Parent Magazine.