Davin Diaz has seen art offerings and opportunities increase in the Tri-Cities since he moved here several years ago.
A new art exhibit and fundraiser that kicks off today could build even more momentum, the West Richland artist said.
“I think what they’re doing is tremendous. It’s ambitious. I think it’s exactly what the Tri-Cities needs,” Diaz said of Tri ART for Giving. “I’m hoping this will be the catalyst and open up the floodgates.”
The project is coordinated by Leadership Tri-Cities’ Class XX. More than 50 art pieces — from paintings to pottery — are on display at 26 area venues for the next two weeks.
The venues include the Reach museum in Richland, as well as hotels, hospitals and wineries.
A watercolor by Diaz is on display at Vinny’s Bakery and Café in Pasco.
Jazmin Santacruz, one of the Tri ART organizers, said the idea is to bring art to the greater community.
“You normally wouldn’t see fine art in a bakery. You go in and get your bread and get out the door,” she said. “By doing this project, we’re getting a whole different pool of people to view this art and see it in a different way.”
The businesses also get a boost in foot traffic, and the artists gain a broader audience for their work. A list of participating venues and artists is at www.artsfoundationmc.org.
Maps can be downloaded from the website and are available at participating venues.
The project is raising money for the nonprofit Arts Foundation of the Mid-Columbia , which aims to promote and celebrate art. The money comes from entry fees, sponsorships and the like.
Prizes will be awarded, including for people’s choice.
Tri ART for Giving runs through May 23. An opening reception starts at 6 p.m. today at the Reach center, 1943 Columbia Park Trail.
Cost is $10. Tickets are available at www.artsfoundationmc.org or the door.
Activities also are planned in the morning and afternoon May 9 at the Reach, including art projects and live music and dancing.
Cost is free with museum admission.
Diaz said he sees Tri ART for Giving as a potential tipping point for local arts because it’s not solely one organization or business involved — it’s many.
“It’s a community effort,” he said. “We as Tri-Citians should support this Tri-City effort.”