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Main Street Masquerade and Art Auction debuts in St. Albans this Friday


From Staff Reports

This painting by DA Brown is among the artworks in a silent auction that’s part of the Main Street Masquerade and Art Auction on Friday, July 14, in St. Albans. Main Street Masquerade runs from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at 63 Olde Main Plaza. Tickets are $30 for singles, $50 for couples. Courtesy photo

Party masks, live entertainment, food and fine art are just some of the ingredients for the first-ever Main Street Masquerade and Art Auction this Friday, July 14, in St. Albans.

The evening gala runs from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at 63 Olde Main Plaza, which is next door to the Alban Arts Center. Main Street Masquerade is a fundraiser for this fall’s St. Albans ArtiGras “Art Around Town” event on Sept. 30.

The tax-deductible cost for the Main Street Masquerade is $30 for singles and $50 for couples. Ticket prices include the art auction, music, hors d’oeuvres, wine and more. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at or at the door on the night of the event.

The art auction portion of the evening will include many fine art pieces, including paintings, pottery and more.

Frank McCormick, owner of Gallery 63 next to the Alban Arts Center, is one of the Main Street Masquerade planners.

“We’re encouraging people to wear masks, and we’ll have some available here. It’s basically an event to raise funds for the ArtiGras Art Around Town event on Sept. 30,” McCormick said.

The evening’s live musical acts will perform on the veranda in front of Gallery 63.

The musical headliners include Blues Crossing and flatpick guitar champion Robin Kessinger.

“He’s the three-time national flatpick guitar champion,” McCormick said.

His awards include the 1985 National Flatpick Championship at Winfield, Kansas; the 1989 and 1990 Galax, Virginia, Best Performer championship; and firsts in West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Georgia.

Kessinger headlines many festivals and judges up-and-coming flatpick artists in contests around the country. He has appeared on PBS and BBC television specials and NPR radio shows. He has been an instructor at the Augusta since 1983. Kessinger lists his influences as “everything I listen to;” his father, Bob; and his great-uncle, fiddler Clark Kessinger.

Cari Stone will also perform during Main Street Masquerade.

Stone is no stranger to the theater, with dancing, singing and acting to her credit since a small child. She considers herself a “trans-dancer,” in that she has studied under many teachers in different genres and just plain loves to make people smile. In her off-work time, she leads workshops on Liturgical Dance with adults and youth, plays in a performing World Drumming group called “Circle of Sound” and spins fire.

Another Main Street Masquerade performer is Susan Hughart.

Hughart has been a student of dance for many years, starting with ballet, tap, jazz and baton with Connie Picozzi at the age of 3.

Fast forward many years and after marrying the love of her life and having two children, she rediscovered her love of dance after seeing a beautiful dancer perform tribal fusion belly dance at a street fair.

Hughart has been studying and teaching several styles of international dance since 2004. She is an award-winning professional belly dance artist, winning awards in both recorded and live music categories.

Also performing is a group called the Samba Dancers.

Featured artists for Main Street Masquerade silent auction include: David Eugene Frazier, William T. Gambill, Larissa Stratton Gatens, Chet Lowther, PB&J Creations, Emily Wall, DA Brown, Brenda Kincaid Beatty, Sam Summers, Andy Sheetz and Mark Wolfe.

Bill Currey of the Coal River Group has also donated two kayak trips down the Coal River for the auction.

Local restaurants are donating appetizers, including Mountain Que, Shuckers, Angela’s on the River and Lil Bit of Heaven Cupcakes.

McCormick is working with the Arti Gras Committee, which also includes Adam Bryan, Emily Wall, Norman Clerc, William Gambill and Cari Stone.

“It should be a really good event,” McCormick said.

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