Wet Paint 2023 Photo courtesy Rhian Swain
Wet Paint 2023 Photo courtesy Rhian Swain

About Town With Francie – WetPaint Party and Sale

(Disclaimer – Columns may have opinion which belong solely to the author)

It was a joyful and colorful journey down the rabbit hole on Saturday, March 4 at the Julian
Smith Casino as the Greater Augusta Arts Council kicked off its annual event, the WetPaint
Party and Art Sale.

An Alice In Wonderland themed party featured fun entertainment. Photo courtesy Rhian Swain/RedWolf Advertising

Upon crossing the threshold, guests were met with a mystical ivy and
mushroom-filled space that set the tone for what was to come. This year’s theme for WetPaint was Alice in Wonderland, and was it ever enchanting.

The hall was festooned in Wonderland décor including top hats and stacked china cup-and-saucer
centerpieces. Master of Ceremonies Kigg Cherry and the sounds of KATz Audio led the
festivities, and the subdued lighting in the place made me feel as if I had indeed slipped down a
rabbit hole.

To paraphrase the Cheshire Cat, “We were all a little mad there.”

Models from Vintage Ooollee flittered about wearing fantastical costumes depicting characters
from the classic novel. They meandered through the hall, posing for photos with attendees and adding an extra touch of whimsy to the event before settling down at a table to perform the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. The evening was filled with non-stop entertainment as dancers performed on stage and on the floor.

Francie Klopotic attended the WetPaint Party March 4. Photo courtesy Rhian Swain/RedWolf Advertising

A drink ticket table sat nestled in a corner across from the bar. Tickets were $6 each and were redeemable for your drink of choice. As is usual for me, I chose the featured drink. For this year’s WetPaint Party, the cocktail was an electric green concoction called Drink Me Potion.

Some of the ingredients included lemonade, Midori and a spritz of sparkly edible glitter. I loved how the drink seemed to glow in my hand and on the table where Dean and I sat. It looked nuclear and tasted divine.

The Alice In Wonderland theme also showed up on the menu. Photo courtesy Rhian Swain/RedWolf Advertising

Delicious appetizers and sweets awaited attendees. Tables were filled with croissant sandwiches,
meatballs on skewers, shrimp, salads in a cup and various other treats. Cucina 503, the Augusta
Junior Woman’s Club and Seva Youth Leaders provided the food and it was a hit. All night
long, throngs wrapped around the tables, picking up yummies.

In addition to the tables of savory, there was a table dedicated to the sweet. On it were macarons
of many colors, a tray of wonderfully decorated cookies and a wall of doughnuts. Yes, a wall.
Coffee and tea were provided by local coffee company Buona Caffe.

The silent auction featured works from more than 70 local artists including Baruti Tucker, HAM, billy
s and Blaine Prescott. Brian StewArt’s painting titled Tea Party was the feature painting for the
promotional material and it stood front and center amidst the many pieces of artwork. It was a
wonderful night to walk around and run into friends.

Some of the paintings at the Wet Paint Party on March 4. Photo courtesy Rhian Swain/RedWolf photography.

The arts community came out in droves and filled the casino to support both the Greater Augusta Arts Council and all of the local artists who were showing their work for the silent auction. I was happily surprised at the number of people in attendance and even happier to hear afterward that not only did half of the artworks sell, but also that over 500 people came out to the event. All in all, it was another huge success.

The WetPaint Party is held every year in late winter. To learn more about the Greater Augusta Arts Council, visit it online here.

Columnist Francie Klopotic can be found about the town attending concerts, arts exhibitions and almost any event highlighting Augusta’s cultural offerings. Subscribe to the Augusta Good News newsletter here.

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