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Art opening Friday to get ‘Surreal’

Works by about 20 local artists, including Patti Backer’s dreamlike paintings, hang in the “Surreal” exhibition opening Friday at the Globe in Berlin. A portion of proceeds from the show will go to the Berlin Arts and Entertainment Committee.

By Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Jan. 10, 2019) The Berlin Arts and Entertainment Committee on Friday will present its fifth annual collaborative art show and fundraiser at the Globe from 6-9 p.m.

Both the subject and the title of the show is “Surreal.”

Committee Chairwoman Heather Layton said Brian Robertson, who co-organized the event, comes up with the names and is a fan of vague titles.

“I love that, because I feel like it leaves a lot of room for interpretation,” Layton said. “This year’s theme I am particularly excited about. I mean, when the word ‘bizarre’ is literally in the definition, how can this not be a fun show?”

Layton said the exhibition serves to both help local artists get exposure and to drum up downtown traffic during an otherwise slow time of year.

“It’s definitely a slow time and you never know if the weather is going to hold out,” she said. “Generally, people don’t want to bundle up and walk all over town when it’s freezing out, so we’ve got some live music happening on stage and the intent is to get as many of the artists that are participating out for a meet and greet as well.”

She said about 20 artists would participate, with mediums including “everything from photography to painting to 3-D mixed media.”

“I think we’re going to have a really cool array of art on display,” she said. “And there might be some really large pieces as well as some tiny pieces.”

Thirty percent of all sales will be donated to the Berlin Arts and Entertainment Committee, which supports everything from public art installations to the “Artists Giving Back” event that each year helps feed hundreds of local people in need.

“We’re all volunteer run, and we’re our own 501(c)(3) nonprofit and every little bit helps,” Layton said. “We’ve got some new public art that’s coming up and some more bike racks that we would like to put forth in town.

“One thing we keep saying is, if anything, we’re very community driven and with every project that we have we ask how is it going to help the community and what are the positive benefits on the community,” she added.

Layton said the committee is essentially the same core group that it started with, but are always looking for new volunteers to help plan and run events. The outdoor Maker’s Market resumes in May and an indoor market is planned next month, for Valentine’s Day.

“Surreal” will open in the upstairs balcony gallery of the Globe, on 12 Broad Street, and remain on display throughout the month.

For more information on the Berlin Arts and Entertainment Committee, visit