Ravenna’s Vino and Van Gogh party raises funds for Art on Main

Founder of Art On Main and the Vino and Van Gogh fundraiser, Art Bowen (center). Jeremy Brown/The Portager

It was an art and hors d’oeuvre-enriched environment at Ravenna’s Vino and Van Gogh patron party in Art Bowen’s 10,000-square-foot historic sewing factory turned home/motorcycle garage.

Art enthusiasts poured in from near and far to attend Main Street Ravenna’s yearly patron party on Saturday, April 13. Guests circulated freely throughout Bowen’s home, enjoying a silent art auction, music, a variety of sushi, Swensons’ hamburgers and more than a few randomly placed vegetable and cheese trays and dessert tables.

The event was founded by Bowen six years ago in an effort to raise funds to finance Main Street Ravenna’s art and wine festival, Art On Main, by way of an auction with donations made by local artists and beyond. Peggy DiPaola was executive planner for this year’s party.

Artwork donated to the Vino and Van Gogh fundraiser. Jeremy Brown/The Portager

Art On Main was created by Bowen in alliance with Main Street Ravenna to give Portage County artists and craftspeople a chance to showcase their art and to provide Ravenna with an art, food and wine infused event, which has kept guests coming back for 7 years running.

The fundraiser was successful in meeting its goals, and this year’s Art On Main is planned for June 8, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jeremy Brown/The Portager

One recurring delight Vino and Van Gogh planners afford year after year is a gourmet custom-made cake by Molly Niford, a lead cake decorator at White Flower Cake Shoppe.

“Everybody talks about the cakes,” Bowen said. “She did a Warhol cake last year, a Mondrian one year, Starry Night one year.”

This year’s cake was inspired by Banksy’s graffiti art.

“What happens is, my dad, Art [Bowen], usually just gives me a theme to follow, and just sort of says, go nuts,” Niford said. “This year he was like, you know what, I think graffiti would be cool, so he kind of just let me run with it on that.”

Many of the Vino and Van Gogh guests look forward to attending the event every year.

“There were people out in their cars waiting to get in, and people at the front door waiting to get in, which is how anticipated this thing is,” Bowen said of the event. “That’s insane. We had some people come in from Buffalo; they drove all the way down just to go.”

The musical duo Hallam & Delaney. Jeremy Brown/The Portager

Nearly every guest who was scheduled to attend the affair was present and had a fantastic time.

“The party went really, really well,” Bowen said. “There were probably 162 people here throughout the night at $50 a person, and they were here for the one reason, and that’s to help, sponsor, run, donate to the art show.”

Among the attendees was Executive Director of Main Street Ravenna, Arasin Hughes, who helped orchestrate the event.

“We have an art auction upstairs with individual pieces that are donated on behalf of Main Street Ravenna,” Hughes said. “Essentially, this is our invite-only, special party to celebrate Ravenna as a whole, to bring together everybody, and just have an evening to relax, and mingle, and raise awareness around Art On Main.”

Jeremy Brown/The Portager

Art Bowen. Jeremy Brown/The Portager

Hartville resident and two-time Vino and Van Gogh art donor Vicki Andrews appeared wearing 45 rpm record adapters as earrings and a jacket she painted in an Alice in Wonderland theme.

Andrews’ first donation to the auction occurred 5 years ago when art patron and champion of Main Street Ravenna, Diana Kane, approached Andrews to buy one of her creations for the auction.

“Diana Kane came to me and asked me if she could buy one of my drawings,” Andrews said, “which she’s done in the past, and I said no, but I would donate one.”

This year, Andrews donated a colored pencil drawing.

“The picture I donated is the fishing boats,” Andrews said. “A friend of mine took the photograph when she was in Florida visiting family, and she thought I might like it.”

Donated artwork. Jeremy Brown/The Portager

Artwork was also donated by Kit Palencar, Curt Wirick, Kelly Komoroski, Cathy Barton and more.

Music for the night was provided by Portage County’s own musical duo Hallam & Delaney.

The event was sponsored by Hometown Bank, Allen Aircraft, Art Bowen, Sarchione Chevrolet, US Wine Exports, City Gardener & Florist, Portage Community Bank, Print & Sign Express, Celebrate Portage, KMI Wellness – Ben and Crystal Harper, Peggy DiPaola and Jack Kohl Realty.

Jeremy Brown
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