Sept. 12 Nickel Plate Arts Anniversary Party

Sept. 12 Nickel Plate Arts Anniversary Party

Bobbi K. Samples Steps Way Up for the Arts

Artist and arts advocate Bobbi K. Samples.

The Nickel Plate Arts anniversary party is certainly a time to celebrate, and celebrate we will, but it’s also an important time to raise funds for the arts in our community. On Wednesday, Sept. 12, 6:30-9:30 p.m., arts patrons, arts lovers and artists will congregate at the Mill Top Banquet and Conference Center for “Forging Sweet Arts: Celebrating Six Years of Nickel Plate Arts.”

Event chairperson, Nickel Plate Arts board member and artist Bobbi K. Samples enthusiastically stepped up to spearhead the black-tie-optional affair. She is working with a volunteer committee that includes Noblesville mayoral candidate Chris Jensen of the Lochmueller Group, Nickel Plate Arts board member Katie Thompson of Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf, graphic designer Julie Clark, and Mill Top Director of Events the Holly Green.

Together with their fellow committee members, they are planning and connecting with volunteers, sponsors and artists to play a role in the event. Samples reports that corporate table sales and sponsorships are up over past years.

Her aspirations for the late-summer event go beyond dollars and cents.

“I want lots of people to come, and everyone who comes to have a wonderful, fun time as we expand peoples’ knowledge of Nickel Plate Arts and what it can do for the community,” Samples says.

People who attend as ticket purchasers or guests of sponsors will discover more reasons and ways to get involved with Nickel Plate Arts. In addition, donations and money raised through ticket sales, sponsorships, auctions and special features will help fund arts programs in the communities of eastern Hamilton County, from Fishers to Atlanta.

Sales of “fairy sweets,” candy suckers speared on the point of a decorated wand, will directly support Nickel Plate Arts’ annual Welcome to Fairyville event in April. And a special Fund-a-Need auction will aim to help four new artist studios launch in downtown Noblesville.

“Each town has its own niche. Noblesville is kind of family oriented with the courthouse and the parks. But we’ve always had Shakespeare in the Park and First Fridays,” Samples says.

“There’s always been an attraction for artists.”

After attending several anniversary parties at Nickel Plate Arts, Samples says she saw an opportunity to attract new people and raise more money to support artists. Her efforts demonstrate how one person can make a real impact to grow the local arts community.

This year, the event committee is working in particular to engage people in Fishers, considering the organization’s  partnership with the Fishers Arts Council. They are also targeting cities and towns north of Noblesville, and communities such as Carmel that lie outside of Nickel Plate Arts’ primary service area. The goal is a common one: to build a broader community of people who appreciate the arts.

“When you have art and artists, you get to grow art. With adults and children, Nickel Plate Arts is able to grow that next generation of artists,” Samples says.

In fact, artists and their works will play prominently during the event. Painters, ceramicists, photographers and other artists from a year’s worth of Showcase Artist exhibits on the Nickel Plate Arts campus will help keep the vibe quirky and creative during the VIP reception.

In all, about 30 artists are expected to be involved in the celebration.

Some artists will create table decorations (up for auction) and others will donate silent auction items. Even if someone can’t attend in person, an online bidding software will make it possible to bid from abroad.

Presentation of the Nickel Plate Arts Awards will be a chief feature. Nominees for Artist of the Year, Arts Patron of the Year, Emerging Arts Champion of the Year and Emerging Artist must live or work in the Nickel Plate Region or have made a major, positive impact on the local arts community. Last year, 19 outstanding people or organizations were nominated for the Nickel Plate Arts Awards. Among the winners were Artists of the Year Christine Merchent and J. Rodney Reveal (a tie), and Patron of the Year The Legacy Fund.

Rocky Shanehsaz, owner of The Mill Top, has generously helped provide a ballroom to stage the event. Original timber pillars, hardwood floors and exposed brick walls lend a rough-hewn texture to the arts-meets-formal affair. Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering in Carmel has been tapped to provide the plated meal.

For sponsorship, individual ticket and registration information, visit nickelplatearts.org/signature-events.

Casey Kenley
casey@caseykenley.com