ART BEAT: Spend an evening in the tropics with Arts at Twilight

The Duluth Fine Arts League is dedicated to the arts and to helping young people with artistic talent find a way to continue their education after high school. One of the ways the organization is lending a helping hand is through its annual fundraiser, Arts at Twilight. This year's event will occur from 7 to 9 p.m. July 16 in the Duluth Art Gallery located at 3530 W. Lawrenceville St.

The theme for this year's event is Evening in the Tropics.

"Since this is such a hot time of year, we have changed the dress code to summer casual, and we will have a tropical feeling for this event," Spokeswoman Nancy Harris said.

The event is held in the Duluth Art Gallery just across the street from the beautiful Duluth Town Green.

"It is worth the trip to see this quaint historic warehouse that has been transformed into an art gallery and professional photographer's gallery," Harris said. "Once inside the gallery, there will be more than 50 artists with work on display. There will be a silent auction. The food will again be catered by Proof of the Pudding. The price of the ticket includes dinner, wine and entertainment."

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Tickets are available now at the Duluth Art Gallery which is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday or by calling 678-957-1942.

Entertainment for the event is Hendy Steel Vibes, also known as Hendy Messiah, a solo artist from Barbados who will perform live on steel drums.

"This is the third year of the Arts at Twilight fundraiser," Harris said. "The funds we raise will go toward our scholarship program. Each spring we award two $1,500 scholarships to high school seniors who have chosen to study the arts in college or post secondary school.

"To date we have awarded $6,000. This year our goal is to double our profits and award three scholarships in 2012."

Last year's recipients were 2011 graduates Chelsea Sharpe and Keary Mobley, who is studying at Rice University.

The Duluth Fine Arts League was established in late 2008 as a Task Force Committee by Mayor Nancy Harris. It is a nonprofit organization. In early 2009, the group had a working committee of more than 30 community residents involved in subcommittees and new projects involving the arts.

The first Arts at Twilight was held in July 2009 and was very successful with over 300 people in attendance.

Duluth Reads is another successful project of this group.

Memberships for the DFAL begin at $35 for individuals, $50 for families which include parents and children under 18, and $40 for artists. Giving on higher levels has increased benefits. For a description of membership benefits and more details, visit the DFAL's website at www.artsduluth.org/membership-information.html

For more information about Hendy Steel Vibes, visit his website at www.hendyssteelvibes.com/home.html.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. Email her at hcalmes@mindspring.com.