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Car show, gallery event to help New Ken Arts Center continue mission

| Wednesday, July 20, 2016, 9:00 p.m.
An original painting by artist Joe Zagst will be auctioned off at the New Kensington Arts Center's Car Show and Art Gallery event.
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An original painting by artist Joe Zagst will be auctioned off at the New Kensington Arts Center's Car Show and Art Gallery event.

New Kensington Arts Center members continue to help revitalize the community and have organized the center's first Car Show and Art Gallery benefit for July 23.

“Bringing the arts to a city has been a huge part of revitalization in places like Millvale and Lawrenceville, and we hope to spur the same growth in New Kensington,” says Joni Marcy, center manager and a member of its board of directors. “Change is coming, and we think art is at the heart of it.”

Marcy says the event will help raise funds for the center's operating costs, which includes gallery shows, classes and events, and provide a showcase for car enthusiasts while visitors enjoy food, music and the display of art.

“We are excited to showcase what the center brings to the community.” Marcy says. “If successful, we will make it an annual event. The car show is open to antique and classic cars of all types.

“In addition to cars, the event will feature food trucks, music, a white elephant ticket raffle of many gift baskets as well as photography and art of many types on display and for sale. Artists and photographers will be available to discuss their work, which will be on display at the Open Gallery Arts Market. An original painting by local artist Joe Zagst will be auctioned.”

The center has been growing its programs in recent months. Marcy says 30 children participated in a four-day art camp this month funded by a grant from the East Suburban Artists League.

About 30 artists participate in Open Gallery Arts Market shows from 6 to 9 p.m. on the second and fourth Fridays monthly, and the center is open to the public from noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

“We have quickly become the main resource for locals and residents of nearby cities for queries about art, from business owners who want art to display in their businesses to building owners looking into having murals painted on the outside of their buildings to other art groups like spinning/weaving groups, woodcarvers and writers looking for space to gather and display or host meetings and events,” Marcy says. “We hope to be in a position shortly to rent space to artists for working and storing their work.”

Debbie Black is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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