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Arlington's ‘Fall into Art’ draws record turnout

SMOKEY POINT — Budgets may be tight, but the community did not hold back when it came to supporting art in Arlington Oct. 16.

This year’s “Fall into Art” auction at the Medallion Hotel scored a record turnout for the Arlington Arts Council, according to Laura Kuhl.

“This is our highest attendance ever,” said Kuhl, vice president of the Arts Council. “Last year we had 15 tables of seats, this year we had 19. We would have had 20, but we literally ran out of tickets. That’s 150 people who showed up.”

The Arlington Arts Council’s annual art auction raises funds for public art throughout the city. Attendees expressed their appreciation that the event allowed them to spruce up not only their outdoor surroundings, but also their indoor decor.

Sharon Dittenberger and Norma Jean Syrie were both third-time attendees of the auction this year. Both complimented the paintings, which they admitted are usually their favorites to bid on, while Dittenberger also praised the sculptures and the fact that the auction allows attendees to vote for their favorite pieces.

“I tend to go for more outdoorsy, pastoral scenes,” said Syrie, who also bid on a gift basket of jams and jellies. “This is one of my favorite events.”

Kathy Glowen still enjoys the sculptures of giraffes made out of car mufflers that she won last year. For this year’s auction, she submitted chicken-themed display boxes of art for bid.

“This just gets bigger and more fun every year,” said Glowen, whose art is featured in Arlington City Hall. “I like that I can party, take in some good food and see my friends. It’s a great community event that brings people together. More and more artists are living in Arlington.”

“I love that there’s such a mix of talent,” said Berta Baker, who had submitted her nature photography for bid.

TV and radio personality Pat Cashman served as one of the announcers this year, and he was impressed by his first visit to Arlington.

“For a relatively small community, not only is this wonderful art, but the community itself has really embraced and encouraged it,” Cashman said.

Kuhl noted that cement started pouring Oct. 14 on the Arts Council’s “gateway” sign project, intended to welcome visitors to the city. She added that the project should be complete by the end of October.

“Be careful what you ask for here, because people will rally to get it done for you,” Kuhl laughed. “Arlington is a can-do town.”

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