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Artists helping animals

Art is often called the doorway to the imagination. The Humane Animal Treatment Society (HATS) is blending a varied collection of art work from nationally known and Michigan based artists with their 10th annual HATS Off To The Arts gala taking place at Mid Michigan Community College’s Mt. Pleasant campus on Saturday, May 14, 2016. This year, to celebrate their 10th HATS Off event, the organization partnered with talented artists and wonderful galleries to showcase the visual arts in all their glory. This is a fun evening of excellent food from Chef Bill Walz, an upscale wine and spirit bar, live jazz with the Carlos Melendez Trio, a live auction with guest auctioneer Joe Barberi, door prizes and great art displayed on custom walls for attendees to purchase. Proceeds of artwork sold will be shared equally between the HATS Organization and the artist or gallery owner. Approximately 120 artworks will be showcased, including many with ties to the Central Michigan area. The original works involve artists who have unique and fresh ways of looking at the world using paper, canvas, clay, bronze, fiber and other materials. Notable artists involved in the gala include glass artist – Harry Boyer, and Painters- Betty Klooster Tyler and John Swanstrom,

Paul Varga is another such artist participating exhibiting his mastery of bronze. His art first starts out as a drawing, then a maquette in clay or plaster. He carves his works in wood before casting in bronze. A graduate of Art from Central Michigan University, Paul’s installations include those in Bay Harbor and in Petoskey. Mr. Varga states, “As a sculptor, I have always felt a closeness and connectedness to the natural materials of the earth. Natural resources like clay, ore and hardwoods are native to northern Michigan. These resources are intrinsic media in my work. It was a natural transition moving from an urban setting to Michigan’s north country as these earthen materials are core elements in my sculpture-making process.”

“The gala is HATS largest fundraiser of the year for our organization. It allows people to mix and mingle with others interested in the arts, culture and animals. The proceeds generated by this lively event allow us to continue our mission of assisting over 3000 homeless animals a year, providing medical care, vaccines, unconditional love, and help finding their ‘forever home.’ In the newly established health clinic, over 6,000 dogs and cats have been spayed or neutered, helping their financially challenged pet-owning friends prevent unwanted litters and saving companion animals,” says Kelli Nicholas, Marketing Director.

New this year for Hats Off To The Arts is seated dinning starting at 7:00pm. “A highlight for the evening is that One Twenty South Craft Cocktails and Tapas has developed a special cocktail called the Mad Hatter just for the gala as well as the extensive menu freshly prepared by Chef Bill Walz. Seated dinner will include Walz Famous Crab Cakes, Colossal Glazed Shrimp, and Armagnac Sugar Crusted Beef Tenderloin” said Kelli.

Tickets or more information can be obtained by calling 989-775-0830 or on the web site http://www.hatsweb.org.

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