— BLOOMSBURG – A fundraiser to benefit tenants of Bloomsburg’s fire-damaged Moose Exchange arts center will be held today at the Caldwell Consistory on Bloomsburg’s Market Street.
The fundraiser will take place the same time as Bloomsburg’s fifth annual ArtWalk-In, also held at the Consistory. The two events will run from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
All the previous ArtWalk-Ins had been held at the Moose Exchange, but a new location had to be found after a Jan. 30 fire gutted the inside of the Exchange building. Ten tenant spaces were damaged, all belonging to artists or small retailers.
“Very quickly after the fire, we had a lot of people interested in doing some kind of event for the tenants of the exchange,” said Oren Helbok, executive director of the Moose Exchange. “It wasn’t even a question of asking, people were already there.”
The ArtWalk-In will feature a wide range of pieces by local artists, from painting, to pottery to photography, available for display and purchase.
Benefitting the Moose Exchange will be a silent auction, all the proceeds for which will be split evenly among the tenants of the Moose Exchange.
“We feel the equal division is by far the fairest, and will at least be a small amount towards getting them up and running,” Helbok said.
Included among the tenants is artist Jef McGreevy. While he was not renting space from the Exchange at the time of the fire, his work was on display in the building during the time of the fire. Pieces he had made all throughout his life were in the building, including art he created when he was a child.
“He lost most of it to the fire,” Helbok said.
Also raising money for the tenants at the event will be Rod Kile, who regularly ran fish fry nights at the Exchange. At Thursday’s event, Kile will be serving barbecue meals plus sides from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., at a cost of $10 per adult and $5 per child.