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Arty Party Mardi Gras will feature music by Sioux Bayou
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Join the Gays Mills Arts Collective for a celebration of Mardi Gras!

The ‘Arty Party Mardi Gras Celebration’ will take place on Saturday, March 1, in the Gays Mills Mercantile Center, located on Highway 131 near the Marketplace.

The Arts Collective Gallery is hosting the event, which will feature Cajun food and music, a silent auction, cash bar, and will offer community members an opportunity to make some art of their own.

The event is intended to provide fun entertainment to chase away cabin fever in this record-breaking severe winter, and also to raise funds to support the Gays Mills Arts Collective in its mission to encourage creativity in the region.

Sioux Bayou (Jane Keeley, Stephen Park, and Bob and Philothea Bezin) will provide Cajun dance music. The Bezins have visited New Orleans and the bayou region a number of times to enjoy and learn the music, culture, and cuisine there. Additional music acts includes ambient music by Time Constant, and a jazz jam.

Arty Party Mardi Gras will also offer Cajun foods, including some from the capable cooks at the Last Call Bar and Grill in downtown Gays Mills. A cash bar will have beer and wine. The silent auction will offer a mix of art, antiques and unusual items. A Las Vegas gambling adventure has been donated for the fundraiser. 

The Mardi Gras festivity will include art making with opportunities for the public to watch and participate. On Friday and Saturday, Feb 28 and March 1, the Arts Collective will offer an open studio in the gallery where live models will pose and be drawn by artists and whoever else would like to give it a try. Artists will be asked to donate one or more of their drawings for the Mardi Gras fundraiser. 

A few of the favorites will be auctioned off live during the benefit, and the remainder will be sold for a flat rate to benefit the gallery. Each model will be able to choose one image of themselves. The life drawing session will begin on Friday, Feb. 28 at noon and continue until 8 p.m. or later. More life drawing opportunities with live models will be offered on Saturday, March 1 from noon until 4 p.m. This is a rare opportunity for artists to delve into life drawing intensively, and also for local celebrities and performers to be drawn by local artists. For more information about the Open Life Drawing Studio, contact Alvin or Lila at 608-624-5269.

The Arts Collective Gallery is in the Mercantile Center at 120 Sunset Ridge Avenue, across from the new Gays Mills Community Commerce Center on north Highway 131.