Artworks Gala raises funds, serves as backdrop for awards

AWARD WINNERS: Dan and Olive Mullet were surprised with the Patron of the Arts award Friday evening at the Artworks Gala. Artworks Board President Alice Bandstra and Executive Director Lynne Scheible presented the Mullets with a plaque. Pictured are (from left) Bandstra, Olive Mullet, Scheible and Dan Mullet. (Pioneer photo/Candy Allan)

AWARD WINNERS: Dan and Olive Mullet were surprised with the Patron of the Arts award Friday evening at the Artworks Gala. Artworks Board President Alice Bandstra and Executive Director Lynne Scheible presented the Mullets with a plaque. Pictured are (from left) Bandstra, Olive Mullet, Scheible and Dan Mullet. (Pioneer photo/Candy Allan)

BIG RAPIDS — If Dan and Olive Mullet had visited the angel card reader in the beaded booth, they may not have been surprised Friday evening.

As it was, they were taken off guard when they were named the Patron of the Arts award winners for 2015 at the annual Artworks Gala.

Approximately 150 people attended the 15th annual gala to support the organization’s continued efforts to share the arts with the public. Themed “Crystal Ball: The Journey Continues — The Future Begins,” the evening featured fortune tellers and angel card readings in addition to the traditional art displays and live and silent auctions.

FUTURES REVEALED: Katherine Harwood provided a glimpse into the future with angel card readings at the 15th annual Artworks Gala on Friday evening. Harwood's talents were in high demand, as a line of prospective patrons waited their turn just behind the beaded curtain. (Pioneer photo/Candy Allan)

FUTURES REVEALED: Katherine Harwood provided a glimpse into the future with angel card readings at the 15th annual Artworks Gala on Friday evening. Harwood’s talents were in high demand, as a line of prospective patrons waited their turn just behind the beaded curtain. (Pioneer photo/Candy Allan)

The evening’s goal was to support Artworks and raise money for the organization’s future, an aim the Mullets support.

“I think Artworks brings something extra special to Big Rapids,” Dan said. “It’s like the cherry on the top of a chocolate sundae.”

“It’s very important for kids to grow up with art, dance and so on,” Olive added. “I hope Artworks survives a long time.”

The Mullets have been members of Artworks throughout the years. Dan also has served on the Artworks board and the Foreign Film Festival committee.

“They’re quiet, behind-the-scenes advocates for the arts and humanities,” said Lynne Scheible, Artworks executive director.

Throughout the room Friday, small groups of people gathered and talked, laughing and eating, until they drifted apart to create new groups with others.

“All these people talking to each other, hanging out together, that’s what it’s all about,” Scheible said. “The arts connect us to each other. When you think about art, and the value of art, it transforms people and place and can transform cultures.”

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Posted by Candy Allan

Candy is the Pioneer's associate editor. She also coordinates the Family & Friends, Religion and Parenting pages. She can be reached by phone at (231) 592-8386 or by e-mail at callan@pioneergroup.com.

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