The who’s who of Jackson and people of all ages walked across a red carpet entrance, were guided around by mimes with red crosses on their lips and drank specially crafted red drinks at the Old Masonic Temple for VIP Night of the RED Pop-up Art Gallery to benefit the Red Cross.
Shelly Hendrick, executive director of the South Central Michigan Chapter of the Red Cross, said the evening of art and entertainment was expected to raise at least $25,000 that will directly affect Jackson-area families.
“This event is entirely volunteer driven, and it’s wildly popular because there’s very little like it around here,” she said. “But what it’s all about is the Red Cross and how we are there in times of emergency to give blood, to do rescue work and to assist those in need.”
Tickets for the event were $25 in advance and $35 at the door, but most of the proceeds will be made from the artwork, jewelry and photography that were on display and on sale from local artists.
Artists take home 40 percent of the sales, while the Red Cross is granted 60 percent.
The three-story party also included a makeup station, body painting, a photo booth, live DJ and dancing and the opportunity to see a local tattoo artist in action.
Food prepared by personal chef Lisa Spampinato included everything from eye-popping tarts to specialty dips and hors d’oeuvres to a “mashtini bar,” which served mashed potatoes in martini glasses with many traditional fixings for garnishment.
“I absolutely love all the performance arts and the food is just amazing,” said Suzanne Walz, one of the artists on display. “I don’t think there’s anything similar to this even in Ann Arbor.
“It’s cutting edge, and it’s exciting to see in Jackson.”
The gallery located at 157 W. Cortland St. will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday. There is no cost to visit.
“Our goal is to put together something someone has never seen before and to make it an unforgettable event people will want to come back to,” said RED Committee Chairman Debbie Crownover.
As published in the Jackson Citizen Patriot on March 25, 2011