“It has become our largest annual fundraiser and is an important source of support for the educational programs and exhibitions that we do here at the museum every year,” said Seth Hopkins, executive director for the Booth Western Art Museum, 501 Museum Drive in Cartersville. “[It] is also a great social event and has become something that’s really looked forward to for Western art collectors and art fans throughout the Southeast that come to it every year.
“... This year we’re changing up the program a little bit and we’re going to have some entertainment. We’re going to have the top cowboy poet in the Southeast, Jerry Warren, who will be doing some humorous cowboy poetry as part of the program that evening.”
Set for Feb. 15, the fifth annual gala and art auction will begin at 5:30 p.m. Along with Warren’s cowboy poetry, the event also will feature cocktails and light hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, gourmet meal, live art auction and the opportunity to tour the museum.
As with past For the Love of Art benefits, one of the highlights of the fundraiser will be the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award, which this year will be bestowed to Mort Künstler.
“Mort Künstler is probably the most recognized historical artist alive in America today,” Hopkins said. “He has done every aspect of American history from pre-historic Indians to being the official artist for the space shuttle program. We’ve done two exhibitions of his work here at the museum. One was a general American history exhibition and the second was more of a Civil War-themed exhibit.
“He’s the only artist who’s ever had two exhibitions here at the museum. And he’s done quite a bit of Western imagery as well throughout his career, although he’s become more known as a Civil War artist in the last 15 years. But, because we have his work in both our Western and our Civil War collections and his prominence in the art world, we thought he was a fitting honoree for the museum.”
In promotion of his exhibition, “Mort Künstler’s Civil War Art: For Us the Living,” in 2011, Künstler spoke to the media about his work and creation process.
“Back when I found the Civil War, it was like a pleasure because I had been doing a lot of Western paintings and epic events in American history, and I was very successful at it and when I discovered the Civil War I found that there were literally millions of events that were never recorded,” Künstler told The Daily Tribune News prior to the opening of his previous exhibit. “The artist is really the only one who can come up with something exciting. [When you take] a bunch of little sentences that don’t mean anything at all, it becomes a very dramatic picture.”
For more information about the For the Love of Art benefit and its auction items, visit www.boothmuseum.org. Tickets for the event, which are $150 per person, need to be purchased in advance by contacting the museum, 770-387-1300, or Lynn Tatum, 770-387-1541.
Preceding the gala and art auction, the Boots n’ Saddles Party will be presented at 7 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Downtown Gallery, 13 N. Wall St. in Cartersville. The event — featuring entertainment and food — will cost $50 per person, which will include two drink tickets. Since the event is limited to 100 people, interested individuals are encouraged to secure tickets as soon as possible by calling 770-387-1541.