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The Marco Island Center For the Arts kicked off the new year in a big way, with the center’s 2nd Tuesday reception attracting its largest crowd ever.

The center’s 2nd Tuesday reception is held in conjunction with each month’s new exhibit. It provides a venue for artists to display their artistic skills and gives art lovers a chance to view each month’s works.

For anyone looking to take a class in numerous workshops, the center provides a wide selection of hands-on opportunities for all skill levels taught by more than 30 gifted instructors.

This month, the Pastel Society of Southwest Florida exhibit runs through Jan. 27. It was the talk of the island at the reception.

The exhibit represents 36 artists work on display in the main gallery. The Pastel Society was founded in 2003 and has about 115 active pastel artists.

Kathleen Shy is the first-place winner whose work was titled “Study in White.” Don Jones was awarded second place with “Fishermen in the Gulf.” Third place honorable mention went to Tanya Trinkaus-Glass for her work titled “Sabal Sayings.”

Artist Inez Hudson’s work is featured in La Petite Gallery. Hudson is an oil-painting instructor at the Visual Arts Center of Punta Gorda. In June, Inez will be teaching a plein air-painting workshop in Minervois, France. She is a juried member of Oil Painters of America, the International Gild of Realism and American Women Artists.

Marco Island Center For the Arts’ “Young At HEART” 4th annual gala and auction is Sunday, Feb. 28, at the Island Country Club.

The honoree for this year’s gala is Jane Watt. Gala co-chairs are Sue and Russ Darrow and Marlene and John Kreilkamp. BMO Private Bank is this year’s sponsor. Contact the center for tickets 239 394-4221 or marcoislandart.org.

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