By Patrick Bernadeau
For Hometown News
MARTIN COUNTY - The mARTies are back.
The seventh annual mARTies Arts Awards presented by the Arts Council of Martin County will take place on May 3 at 6 p.m. at the StarStruck Performing Arts Center and Theatre.
For only the second time in its history that dates back to 2003, the mARTies will be a nighttime, red-carpet affair, as the Arts Council celebrates the contributions made in art, philanthropy and volunteerism within the community.
"It's really designed to let us stop and recognize all the creative types in our community who make Martin County a more special place to live and work," said Nancy Turrell, executive director of the Arts Council and one of the many people responsible for putting the mARTies together.
"The mARTies recognizes artists, volunteerism and students who are pursuing the arts in all fields, from visual to performing and digital media."
There are two tracks of awards that are given out. A board of directors at the Arts Council is responsible for appointing named awards where nominations are not taken. Within this track, there are five awards:
Lifetime achievement in the arts: Rita Vallis, a performing artist and vocal coach
Excellence in arts education: Marcus Rabb director of the art from The Pine School
Philanthropy in the arts: Barbara Trimble
Arts leadership: Jeanette Mueller, post chairwoman, Arts Council executive committe and Robert E. Valle, director, Arts Foundation of Martin County
Corporate leadership: Publix Super Market Charities.
The second track of awards involves nominees for the following seven categories: outstanding performing artists, outstanding visual artists, outstanding media artist, outstanding student media artist, outstanding student visual artist, outstanding student performing artist and outstanding volunteer in the arts.
This year's event will include cuisine from some of Stuart's finest gourmet chefs and restaurants, as well as a silent auction to support various programs within the Arts Council.
Some of the prizes offered in the auction will include a selection fine art, dining, spa and golf outings and hotel packages.
The cost for the general public to attend is $75; that includes one complimentary cocktail and a gift of art.
For members, the cost to attend is $60.
Reservations are available through the Arts Council website, www.martinarts.org.
For additional information, contact the Arts Council at (772) 287-6676.
The StarStruck Performing Arts Center is located on 2101 S. Kanner Highway in Stuart.