HAMILTON — The Fitton Center for Creative Arts generated a lot of excitement throughout the region with its “Paint the Town Red” Annual Season Launch event last Friday.
“It’s always fantastic to see the community come in to the Fitton Center from all around Hamilton, Butler County, Cincinnati and Dayton. People are coming in and they are sharing in the excitement for the new season. They are coming in to see our fantastic artists, and all of our galleries, and Community Gallery, and meeting our artists and performers, and everyone is really enjoying that. It’s a party and we like to have fun here at the Fitton Center,” said Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, executive director.
The open house-style event at the Monument Avenue center provided attendees with an opportunity to experience everything the Fitton Center has to offer, including class demonstrations in the art studios, including mosaics and ceramics, as well as a variety of hands-on activities for attendees of all ages.
Every gallery, studio and classroom as well as performance, rehearsal and event spaces were open for guests to enjoy and explore. There was even a selfie station with a paint brush and a Fitton Center backdrop, so guests could remember how much fun they had during the “Paint the Town Red” event.
“The buzz and energy have been here since early this afternoon. There’s a lot going on in Hamilton. We’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of people and the energy and excitement has been fantastic. We’re excited to bring everybody back into the Fitton Center as we kick off our new season,” MacKenzie-Thurley said.
In addition to an open house, the evening’s highlights included live music by The Other Band, and there were performances throughout the evening by acts like Performing Arts Inc. and the Golden Tappers. The event also gave guests a preview of what’s in store for the 2023-2024 season of performances, exhibitions and events.
In conjunction with the season launch event, there was a gallery opening celebration for the “Human Nature” and “Class Act” exhibitions. The exhibitions will remain on view through Fri., Sept. 22.
Visiting Artist Amanda Maciuba, who is part of the “Human Nature” exhibition was on hand to meet with guests during the party.
“I got here, and it’s been everything I expected. The energy and community here is out of this world,” said Maciuba.
She said, “My work is about the environment, and specifically, how humans change, mix, and alter the environments around them, and how nature interacts and changes with what we do to the environment. So, I think a lot about climate change, about the built environment verses the natural environment, and I use printmaking and layers of repeated imagery to layer different landscapes, and maps on top of each other so we can think about different ways of interacting with the environment in more healthy and positive ways.”
The Community Gallery on the first floor is currently featuring works from artists at the Boys & Girls Club and Booker T. Washington Community Center, among others.
The Pergola Pop Up led by Cathy Mayhugh, director of exhibitions, and Moya Jones, lead artist, was a popular draw for eventgoers as well. The idea behind hanging 200 yards of red fabric on the Monument Avenue Pergola is to draw attention. It will be there until the end of the month.
“I’m here because the Fitton Center is just a wonderful place to experience art, whether you’re a child, or an adult, whether you’re here to look at the art around you or create it, it’s just a beautiful place to be,” said Sherry Bross, a Liberty Twp., resident, and artist, who has pottery and a mosaic piece on display at the Fitton.
With four signature series — “Celebrating Self,” “Fitton Showstoppers!” “Fitton Family Fridays” and “Jazz & Cabaret,” the Fitton Center’s 2023-2024 performance season is packed with a spectacular line up.
Fitton Center’s new season will kick off with a full slate of performances that will begin in September and continue through May 2024.
One standout performance will be “Saved by the 90′s” on Sept. 30.
Guests may celebrate the holiday season with shows such as “Gingerbread Jamboree” on Dec. 1 and “A Motown & More Christmas” on Dec. 9.
Among other season highlights, “Pirate School” will return Nov. 3, the Cincinnati Pops: Poptet will be in the theater on Feb. 17, 2024 and patrons won’t want to miss “An Evening with Marty Brennaman” on March 23, 2204.
For a complete schedule of programming, events, activities, and classes, visit fittoncenter.org, or pick up a copy of the season brochure at the Fitton Center.
Tickets for the season’s performances and events were on sale during the Season Launch event. The Fitton Center also saw an uptick in the purchase of annual memberships with the current membership promotion underway, which is 20 percent off the regular membership rates.
Through the end of August, individuals can purchase an annual membership for $28 and the cost of a family membership is $56.