Community Arts Center seeking artists for this year’s Art-A-Thon 

Published 2:47 pm Tuesday, February 6, 2018


Community Arts Center

Registration is now open for the 2018 Art-A-Thon, scheduled for May 12. The event combines artist demonstrations with peer-to-peer fundraising  — much like a dance-a-thon or charity relay race — to create an action-packed day of creative fun for all ages.

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Artists commit to a two-hour window of continuous art-making on the day of the event, and are responsible for raising funds in support of their participation. Proceeds from the Art-A-Thon benefit the Community Arts Center’s educational programs, including free field trips, scholarships to art camp, and a wide range of classes and workshops for children and adults. The event itself is free to the public, as community members are invited to come and watch the artists at work — and maybe create some art themselves!

According to Niki Kinkade, Arts Center executive director, last year’s Art-A-Thon featured 50 different fundraising teams representing more than 75 artists. This year, she hopes to see that number grow. 

Photo by Steve Hoffman
Ceramics artist Catherine Thomsen invited children to join her in creating artwork from clay during the 2017 Art-A-Thon.

“There’s already a tremendous buzz of excitement around the event,” says Kinkade. “Within 10 minutes of announcing it on Facebook, we already had an artist from Lexington sign up.”

Kinkade says the Art-A-Thon is all about building connections. 

“One of our big goals as an organization is to foster connections between artists and the community – and to inspire community members to embrace their own inner artist. The Art-A-Thon does just that, by showcasing the talented artists within our community and by inviting the public to learn more about the artists and their work.”

It was Danville ceramics artist Catherine Thomsen who first suggested the idea of an art event focused around artist demonstrations. An active member of the 2017 Art-A-Thon event committee, Thomsen was thrilled by the community response to the inaugural event. 

“I loved the gathering of so many artists in one location doing their art all together. It was exciting to see such diverse creativity happening at once. A lot of art is made in private and we only see the product when it’s complete. Experiencing creation in progress allows me to really feel the connection between the artist, his or her spirit, labor, hands, and the piece. The Art-A-Thon made me proud of our community.” 

Thomsen was also the top fundraiser of 2017, raising more than $1,100 to support Arts Center programming.

Artist demonstrations for the 2017 Art-A-Thon took place at Weisiger Plaza and inside the Community Arts Center. From left: Lynda Ross discusses Tillie Sowders’ painting. Sarah Wiltsee (center) works on an abstract flower painting while Amelia Cloud (right) draws.

Artist Sarah Wiltsee also participated in the 2017 event, setting up her canvas and easel in Weisiger Plaza to work on an abstract painting. Wiltsee enjoyed the community engagement created by the event. 

“Talking with people that ask about my art, especially the kids that sat around me watching the images as they appeared on my canvas, was really fun,” Wiltsee said. 

The 2018 Art-A-Thon is presented by Danville Eye Center. Dr. Michael Smith says, “We are excited to partner with the Arts Center again this year to celebrate the artists in our community. The great thing about this event is that artists of ever level are encouraged to get involved. My 10-year-old daughter participated last year with her dance class and had a great time.”

Artists in all genres and at all levels of experience are invited to participate in the Art-A-Thon. In 2017, participating artists ranged in age from 4 to 90. The event featured a wide range of art forms including painting, knitting, dancing, yoga, singing, gymnastics, drawing, sculpture, woodworking, ceramics, quilting, and paper craft.


The 2018 Art-A-Thon will be 11 a.m.-4 p.m. May 12. Information and registration are available at


New Year New Art – through February 23


• A Winter Arts Appreciation Series will be offered as a four-week series featuring Centre College professors. The first one will be noon-1 p.m. Feb. 13, A Turbo Charged Intro to Photograph with Professor Isabella La Rocca, drawing on 180 years of photographic imagery. The cost is $13 at the door or $40 for the full series. Register online. 

• Starry Night Studio: Daisy Pop, 7-9 p.m. Feb. 13, $35/per person 

Add a pop of color to your walls with this lovely pair of flowers. We will be painting two 12” square canvases in this class, Register online.  

• Lunch with the Arts: Danville High School Forensics, noon Feb. 21, $5/door

• Photo Editing Workshop, 6-8 p.m. Feb. 22, $30/per person 

Jealous of all your friends’ perfect-looking photographs on Facebook and Instagram? Brandon Long will teach you three quick and easy tricks to perk up your pics using a free downloadable software. Register online. 

• Watercolor Workshop, 1-4 p.m. Feb. 24, $50; instructed by Connie Tucker