Orange Park, FL

Art Guild of Orange Park to host inaugural art event, Bella Notte

Julie Morgan

The Art Guild of Orange Park is hosting a special event on Sept. 15. It's called "Bella Notte, a Night of Art Under the Stars." Bella Notte is Italian for Beautiful Night.

Phyl Renninger, president of the 120-member organization, says the inaugural art event was born from three goals.

First, the Art Guild of Orange Park is working to fulfill its art, culture, and outreach mission. Second, one of the aspects of the visioning and strategic plan for the Town of Orange Park is to promote art and culture in the town. Third, Bella Notte helps reach the town's goal of more adult activities.

Mayor Randy Anderson said at a council meeting earlier this year that Orange Park needed more adult activities. The same topic also came up during the recent budget discussions.

The money raised from the event will be used to support the annual high school student scholarship as well as the operating budget of the art guild.

The organization established the Courtenay Hunt Scholarship two decades ago. The scholarship is awarded to a Clay County senior planning to pursue a career in visual arts or arts education. In 2021, the scholarship was awarded to Oakleaf High School senior Kelly Ventura.

The Art Guild of Orange Park expects Bella Notte to be an annual celebration. Renninger says they'll consider lessons learned after the event and then work on planning the organization's 50th birthday celebration for 2023.

They sold more than 300 tickets for the Sept. 15 night out. Ticket sales ended Sept. 1. This year’s event will be at Azaleana Manor on the St. Johns River in Orange Park from 6 pm to 10 pm.

Attendees will be able to purchase pieces of art at the event. There will also be art demonstrations, a silent auction, wine tastings, Italian food, gelato, live music, and "more art."

The live music will be the sounds of soloist Sarah Sawyer. Music from Brooke Clark, The Mix, and the Clay County Swing Band will also be featured at the event.

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