What is normally an idol pastime will provide a valuable service today at St. Mary's Art Center in Virginia.
Visitors will be able to make a creative masterpiece on canvas or out of clay, or simply doodle on the center's graffiti wall.
"We encourage people to come and explore their creative side and try all the things they have wanted to," said Linda Nazemian, St. Mary's executive director.
The "Play with Art" fundraiser will be 2-6 p.m. today at the center. The fundraiser features appetizers and wine, as well as various pieces of art up for sale and a silent auction.
"A lot of the local and regional artists who serve as instructors have donated pieces to support what we are doing here," Nazemian said.
Funds generated from the event will be used to continue renovation of the historic building as well as provide operating funds for the center. Organizers hope to raise $25,000 this year for the center.
"We are protecting and restoring this historic building from 1875 and putting it to good use," Nazemian said.
The 14,000-square-foot center offers seminars in many disciplines which are taught by regional and national artists. Nazemian said that because the center offers lodging, it allows artists to focus on the creative process.
The center currently has classes in felting, mixed media, fabric, clay, weaving, writing, watercolors and photography scheduled over the next two months.
"We want to keep art alive in this area," Nazemian said.
• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1217.
If you go
What: "Play with Art" fundraiser
When: 2-6 p.m. today
Where: St. Mary's Art Center in Virginia City, 55 N. R St. in Virginia City.
Cost: Admission is free, but space is limited. There will be art for sale as well as a silent auction