It might sound strange, but a group known as the Visual Arts Creative Ambassadors are taking their cues from a cow.
“‘VACA’ is Spanish for cow, and the VisArts Center is in the old Virginia Dairy building,” explains VACA’s staff liaison and the center’s outreach coordinator Jordan Roeder.
Two years ago, visiting artists from Spain created a paper mache cow for the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, which has since become the center’s unofficial mascot.
It also inspired the name of VACA, an eight-member group of emerging business and artistic professionals charged with getting a new generation involved with the center.
On Saturday, VACA will host “Young & Artful,” a fundraising event that will highlight young artists and raise money for the center’s youth outreach programs. Featured artists include Angela Bacskocky, Daniel Crawford, Julie Elkins and Tim Skirvin, whose work will be for sale.
The event will include heavy hors d’oeuvres by upcoming French-American restaurant Belle and James, signature cocktails by Bobby Kruger, and craft beer from Ardent, Strangeways and Center of the Universe breweries. The menu will include vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free fare.
The Upper East Side Big Band featuring Laura Ann Singh is scheduled to perform, and local artists Michael-Birch Pierce and Matt Lively will make live art. Pierce is sewing portraits of people to include in a large-scale collage; Lively will conduct an interactive drawing session.
The event will benefit three youth outreach programs, offered free of charge to segments of the community. Art After School is a free after-school program for school-aged kids in need. SOHO: Space of Her Own partners 12 pre-teen girls from East End public housing with women for nine months of mentoring, creating artwork that will eventually decorate their bedrooms. Engage gives children a free interactive tour of the center’s gallery exhibits, then lets them create art using the techniques they’ve learned.
“The proceeds that we make are going right back into local programming,” says Roeder.
Young and Arful Bash takes place Saturday, Jan. 31 from 8 to 11 p.m. at the Visual Arts Center located at 1812 W. Main Street. Cocktail attire is preferred. Tickets will be sold at the door for $50, or you can buy them here.