Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Art + Tradition: Five “Summer Soirees” planned to benefit local artists, Art Association

Wendell and Brenda Hoover will host the first Art Association summer soiree of the season in their home on Italian Lake. Sketch by Jonathan Frazier

Five historic central Pennsylvania properties will exhibit local art ranging from oil painting to glass mosaics as part of the Art Association of Harrisburg’s annual summer benefit soirees.

The soirees, which start on June 22, are held at the homes and properties of patrons of the Art Association for an evening of art, socializing and refreshments.

“[Attendees] can buy the art, enjoy the art, enjoy refreshments, and see the lovely home and garden of the host,” said Carrie Wissler-Thomas, president of the Art Association. “They’re very nice social occasions, as well as a way for the artist to get their work out to a new section of the public.”

This year, the soirees will feature the work of 14 local artists, including Julie Riker’s oil paintings, Josephine Alexander’s glass mosaics and works from contemporary artist Linda Benton-McCloskey. Attendees can expect to enjoy watercolor and oil paintings, en plein air (outdoor) paintings and digital photographs on aluminum.

Settings for the soirees include Wendell and Brenda Hoover’s home overlooking Italian Lake, Josephine and Bob Alexander’s historic farmhouse, Lowell and Linda Gates’ restored Victorian farmhouse, the Cornerstone Coffeehouse and the King Mansion.

Marc Kurowski, a veteran host of a soiree, said that the most important part of being a host is coordinating with the artists and advertising the soiree. Kurowski, owner of the King Mansion, will serve as host during the final soiree on Aug. 25.

He said that he likes to host a soiree to support local art.

“It’s a great place for folks who know art to see local artists that they might not have experienced and for folks who really don’t know much about art to try it for the first time and get a look at what local artists are doing,” Kurowski said.

The money from art sold at the soirees are will go to the artists, with a small commission going to the Art Association. Tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the door.

This summer, the schedule is:

June 22: “Italian Lake Soiree” (Italian Lake)
June 29: “Solstice Soiree” (Dover)
July 20: “Soiree in the Country” (Mechanicsburg)
Aug. 4: “Cornerstone Culinary Kitchen Soiree” (Camp Hill)
Aug. 25: “King Mansion Soiree” (Harrisburg)

To learn more about the Harrisburg Art Association’s Summer Benefit Soirees and to access a full list of the featured artists, visit

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