Art on Wheels brings arts programs to communities with limited access.
Even though he’s an artist, Kevin Orlesky says art auctions can be boring. At Sweethearts for the Arts, his organization hopes to spice things up. Burlesque girls shimmy to live music, while the audience sips on champagne, and drag queens perform to raise money for Art on Wheels.
This vaudeville Valentines event happens tomorrow night at Gallery5.
Executive Director Andrea Olson is excited to bring several forms of entertainment into the mix.
“Burlesque and drag have very similar roots. In Richmond, at least, the audiences have remained somewhat separate,” she said. “What a wonderful way to get these two communities to come together in something that will be fun for everyone.”
Art On Wheels brings hands-on photography, papermaking and more to communities with limited access to art programs including children, seniors, and the disabled.
Lead instructor Orlesky started the organization with Olson after they moved to Richmond. After inspiration from a print shop in Chicago that traveled to schools teaching printmaking, they decided to test the waters in their new city.
“It came to be that the elderly and disabled community has the biggest need in Richmond,” Orlesky said.
In 2010, the organization looks forward to having their biggest year through word of mouth. Currently they have a partnership with the YMCA called Friendship Café. Senior groups around Greater Richmond meet at churches or community centers for a hot meal, social opportunities, and different art activities. A program with Hilliard House for homeless mothers and their children is also on the horizon.
For tomorrow night, Orlesky looks forward to exposing his organization to a new audience.
“Music benefits can draw a fare amount of people that may not know who we are so they can learn about us as well,” he said.
Sweethearts for the Arts takes place at 8 p.m. on Friday, February 12 at Gallery5 on 200 W. Marshall Street. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at http://gallery5arts.org.