Hayley King loves art and she would love to have a local place where people and families can go to enjoy and learn about art.
The Gig Harbor Regional Center for the Arts might be just such a place.
The center is the dream of a group of citizens from Gig Harbor, Olalla and the Key Peninsula including Peninsula High School teacher Jonathan Bill.
The Gig Harbor Arts Center Alliance, as the group is called, is working on building a multi million-dollar, all-inclusive arts facility in Gig Harbor North, next to the YMCA.
It’s a dream that is several years from becoming reality, but the alliance is slowly and steadily moving toward that goal.
“We got our 501(c) (3) nonprofit status earlier this year,” said Bill, who is president of the Alliance. “It took nearly two years to get that because of the IRS backlog.”
The next step is to raise funds for a feasibility study that will prove that the center is economically sustainable and that shows “exactly what kind of economic impact this will have on our community,” Bill said.
On June 6, the alliance will host a dinner and auction to raise the estimated $50,000 needed to pay for the study.
“We call it An Evening of ExtraOARdinary Delights because oars are the theme of the auction,” he said.
Local artists, arts organizations, businesses and students have created several dozen artfully embellished oars for the event.
Many of the oars will be paired with auction items that match the oar’s design, such as tickets to Mariners games paired with a baseball-themed oar and wine baskets with wine-themed oars.
The alliance has made sure that students are involved with the creation and promotion of the auction.
“One of the main focuses of the center will be to develop talent and to have kids involved,” Bill said. “So the PHS catering club is providing the dinner for the auction and several PHS students have created oars for the event.”
A Gig Harbor High School junior shot a promotional video of the oars that can be seen on the alliance’s website.
And PHS senior Hayley King designed the event poster and also the alliance’s official logo.
King was selected for the design project on the recommendation of her photography teacher, who also teaches graphic design at PHS.
“They told me they wanted a really vibrant, fun, creative logo for their arts center, and a fun poster for the auction,” the 17-year-old Wauna resident said.
“They’ll use the logo on their literature and business cards and official stuff. And the poster design will be used again when they have other auctions like this in the future,” she said.
King said she’s excited about the idea of a new arts center.
“As a student, I think this is really important because, for me, I’ve always loved art and I think that’s where I feel like I really fit in,” she said.
“And I think it will be a really good thing to have in our community, especially because they’re thinking of putting it next to the YMCA.
“The kids and the older generation of people who go to the Y will also be really interested in the arts center.
“I think it will be really good for kids to be involved and I feel like it would be a really good family thing, too. I baby-sit little kids and I’d like to go to the arts center with them so they can be creative and express themselves and learn new things. Because there are a lot of things that are considered art –– like quilting. I never thought of that as an art, but it is. And so there’s just so many things you can learn.”
She’s happy she was asked to help with the graphic design for the alliance and the auction.
“I think it’s cool how they’re pulling in students because we’re going to be a lot older when the arts center will be done, and when it’s open we’ll be eager to be a part of it and know that we had a part in making it happen,” she said. “I think art is important because art is life and it’s beautiful and we should all be a part of beauty. I’m really excited to be part of this.”