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Galleries at LynnArts readies for Spring Fling fundraiser

Tia Cole decorates the ceiling with paper flowers for the Galleries at LynnArts Spring Fling gala on April 5. (Owen O'Rourke)

LYNN — Tia Cole is standing on a stepladder, r-e-a-c-h-i-n-g toward the ceiling, with an enormous pink paper flower in her hand. Below, on floor level in the small gallery in the LynnArts building, Emmanuelle le Gal, Nicole Werth and Annette Sykes are busy as bees, cutting petals and making the flowers that will decorate the space for Spring Fling, the initial fundraiser for Galleries At LynnArts (GALA) to be held April 5, 7-9 p.m.

“This is an immersive art show right here,” said Cole with a smile. “It’s great for Instagram photos, too.”

The Spring Fling will occupy the main gallery and feature artwork for sale by local artists. All will be priced at $100 or less. Many artists have donated their works to the fundraiser, meaning all proceeds will benefit GALA programming. Artists include David Alexander, Sarah Arcotta, Jeanne Carey, Christie Connolly, E. Nicole Ferro, Ellen Garvey, Sheila Golden, Elizabeth Hall, Sally Jacobson, Dawn Jenkins, Jessica Jordan, Patty Klibansky, Ruby Martinez, Maris Prost, Joe Skahan, Leslie Fahn Rosenberg, Susan J. Schrader, Rickey Schwed, Stefanie Timmermann, Tamara Wolfson, Caitlyn Yvonne, and Cole, le Gal, Sykes and Werth.

Food for the event will be provided by Christopher’s Cafe, a popular caterer and breakfast/lunch spot on Lewis Street. “Christopher’s is donating hors d’oeuvres and dessert. David (Shalvoy), the owner, is a strong supporter of the arts and has showcased the work of many North Shore artists in his cafe,” said Sykes, gallery director and GALA president.

Music will be provided by string quartets from Lynn Classical High School and Lynn English High School. Classical students will perform during the first hour, English the second. “It is our goal to involve the whole community in our programming and to support arts as a whole in Lynn. Providing opportunities for students to play in a public space and to be part of the art community is critically important,” said le Gal, a GALA board member and local graphic designer and artist.

The fundraiser will provide funds to support GALA and programming for the upcoming year. The Galleries At LynnArts is in the process of becoming a collaborative non-profit art gallery, and its main spaces are used for group and solo shows as well as a shop filled with arts and crafts handmade by North Shore artists and makers.

“GALA has several projects planned that will impact the Downtown Cultural District by bringing art into people’s everyday lives. Pop-up art events and city beautification projects are already in the works. Our hope is to empower more creativity, beauty, and to foster the unexpected in Lynn,” said Sykes.

“For the first time in 30 years, Lynn has an arts organization,” said Cole. Added Werth, “There had been no organization to go to. Artists were sort of left on their own. Now, artists throughout the North Shore who are not in our group can contact us and we can help one another.” Werth said The Brickyard Collaborative printed the signs that adorn the gallery windows, and the two organizations are enthusiastic about being partners for a long, long time.

“People who had not volunteered before are coming forward,” said Sykes. “Part of our mission is to build a community, and that is happening.”

GALA’s “Spring Fling,” April 5, 7-9 p.m., at LynnArts, 25 Exchange St. Tickets: $25, available at www.galleriesatlynnarts.org or at the door.

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