Beat the mid-winter blues by joining Sculpture Space for an infamously good time at its 9th annual Mardi Gras Party. The carnival party takes place from 7 to 11:30 p.m., Saturday, February 21, at the Radisson Hotel-Utica Centre Grande Ballroom in downtown Utica. The event is made possible, in part, with sponsorship support from area and national businesses and corporations including CONMED, a major sponsor. CONMED CEO Joseph Corasanti created this special event, which has become one of Sculpture Space’s biggest fundraisers.
Tickets are $55 through February 19, and $65 the night of the event. Proceeds from ticket sales and the auction will benefit artist and community programs at Sculpture Space. For more information about tickets, please call Sculpture Space at 315-724-8381 or refer to www.sculpturespacemardigras.org
New at this year’s Mardi Gras, the proceedings will include:
- a festive welcome from the Mayor of Utica,
- a Proclamation of Mirth, and
- the grand arrival and coronation of Queen Jeanette, an authentic Mardi Gras Queen from Mobile Alabama and King Septimius Severus II, the Carnival King, aka Charlie Fisher, a Sculpture Space co-founder.
- Queen Jeanette, along with her court which includes another Mobile Alabama Mardi Gras Queen, Queen B. will welcome revelers and circulate among the merry prankster guests with gracious southern hospitality
(Note: Mobile, Alabama is the site of the country’s oldest Mardi Gras celebration. Septimius Severus, from the North African colony of the ancient world near Carthage, was the first Utican to become a Roman Emperor.)
The royal presence of Queen Jeanette and King Septimius Severus II marks the beginning of a new tradition for the Sculpture Space Mardi Gras, in which plans are underway to coronate a Mohawk Valley King and Queen at the 10th annual Sculpture Space Mardi Gras in 2010.
Highlights of the evening will include:
- the hot bayou sound of the acclaimed band Captain Squeeze & the Zydeco Moshers,
- authentic Cajun food,
- a cash bar with Louisiana Hurricanes and Voodoo Martinis in addition to other beverages, and, of course,
- festive costumes and dancing
- Valley of the Veil belly dancers
- silent auction bonanza of boutique baskets offering everything from bowling to a VIP Glimmerglass Opera package to genuine private label Soprano wine, luxury services, and overnight getaways at popular area resort towns. Local artist Suzanne Firsching and many other local artists are featured in the silent auction of original Mardi Gras masks and jewelry (beads) along with signed photographs of iconic public art projects by internationally recognized artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude.
- back by popular demand, the applause-metered Fat Tuesday Costume Contest with generous prizes
Atmospheric décor includes the Mojo Branch, a nine and a half feet tall neon sculpture by artist Daniel Buckingham, and a monumental papier-mâché Mardi Gras head by local artist Maria Cavo Mrzlikar. Entertainment includes Utica’s Valley of the Veil belly dancers, go-go dancing platforms for those who get inspired, and lots of beads and plumes.
The host site, the Radisson, is offering a specially priced overnight package for revelers that includes tickets to the Mardi Gras Party, a best-of-the-bayou overnight package. Please call the Radisson at (315) 797-8010 for more information.
Sculpture Space is the only artist-in-residency program in North America specifically designed to serve professional sculptors. Sculpture Space provides a stipend, studio space, special equipment, technical expertise, and specialized resources for artists to make new works of art —works that are first seen in Utica, NY before being exhibited in galleries, museums, and sculpture parks worldwide. Drawing artists from throughout the world, Sculpture Space also provides local community members with opportunities to meet contemporary artists and learn more about sculpture through quarterly work-in-progress receptions, studio tours, and presentations for local organizations.