The Sun House Guild of the Grace Hudson Museum will have its Annual Gala Fundraiser from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14. Always a highlight of the cultural year in Ukiah and the primary fundraising event for the Museum, the theme of this year's Gala is "For the Love of Art." The event will be held on the lawn in front of the Sun House, and will include silent and live auctions, entertainment with DJ Jerry Schultz, dinner, drinks, and a ceremonial poem.
"Art is the connection that brings everyone here together," elaborates Museum Director David Burton, "whether it's appreciation of Grace's paintings; or of Pomo baskets; or of exhibits featuring local artists; or of art from places outside of Ukiah. Whether it's hosting Writers Read (a popular monthly literary arts series), music, film screenings, and lectures--all these activities bring us back to the core principles of this museum: to provide a venue for the education and enjoyment of art and culture, and to inspire curiosity and creativity. Most of all, it creates a place where the community can come together to share its love of art in all its forms."
The evening will begin at 5 p.m. Wine and limited cocktails will be served as guests mingle and the silent auction gets underway. The ten items in the live auction include a small plane flight for three above Mendocino County (includes lunch); a wild game dinner for eight at Macgruder Ranch, featuring a private concert by Spencer Brewer and Alex de Grassi; a group pottery class with Ukiah ceramicist Jan Hoyman; and four mid-level box seats at Levi’s Stadium to see the 49ers play the Arizona Cardinals on November 11.
At around 6:15, Sun House Guild President Tom Liden and Museum Director Burton will make brief remarks, followed by a poem by Ukiah Poet Laureate Roberta Werdinger on the theme of "For the Love of Art." Dinner will be served, catered by noted Hopland chef Beth Kieffer. Several different local wineries have donated wines for the occasion. Non-alcoholic and vegetarian options will also be available. The silent auction will end around 7:15, with the live auction beginning shortly after.
The Sun House Guild, an indispensable part of the Museum's operations, is a private nonprofit group that raises funding to support the Museum’s exhibitions, public programs, and outreach. The annual gala represents a huge part of their fundraising efforts. For the past two galas, the Guild raised additional funds for an ambitious two-year project to water-protect the Sun House and refurbish landscaping around it, including installation of a new irrigation system and the placement of plants that more closely resemble those that existed at the time Grace and John Hudson lived there. At this year’s gala, Burton wants to return attention back to "the heart of the Museum"--its exhibits and programs.
Those have included, just in the past few years, exhibits on indigenous photographers; wildflowers and climate change; early California landscape artists; Mendocino County assemblage art; and a recent, well-received show on the tattoo arts. "It's a real diversity of art forms that we're able to showcase here," Burton, a writer himself, notes. Having relocated to the Ukiah Valley in November 2017 to assume directorship of the Museum, Burton was instantly impressed by how such a professional and classy museum exists and is supported in a city the size of Ukiah. “It truly is the cultural jewel of Ukiah," he says. "And it's a real pleasure to be in a community that values artists and has so many--from visual to performing to the written word. Art could be about anything--depression, love, politics. It connects us on many levels with the people who came before us--and with one another now--ultimately helping us to a greater understanding of the human experience."
"For the Love of Art" Fundraising Gala takes place at the Grace Hudson Museum, 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah. Tickets are $85 and are expected to sell out. To purchase tickets, call the Museum at (707) 467-2836 or go to grace-hudson-museum-sun-house.networkforgood.com/events/14685-fort-the-love-of-art