The Attleboro Arts Museum will continue its ongoing collaboration with the Greater Attleboro Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society with a first-time summer event designed to support the cancer society during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Luminaria on the Lawn” will be held on Saturday evening Aug. 22 outside of the downtown Attleboro arts center, which was closed for nearly four months due to the state government regulations imposed in mid-March.
The pandemic also forced the relay, scheduled for June 12-13 at Norton High School, to become a virtual event called Hope From Home. That event helped the Greater Attleboro Relay For Life raise about $60,000 despite having its fundraising efforts hampered by the pandemic.
Luminaria on the Lawn, a pop-up display, will be held in accordance with all state guidelines that have been imposed during the pandemic. That means, stresses Museum Executive Director and chief curator Mim Brooks Fawcett, that social distancing will be strictly enforced and that face coverings will be required by all who attend.
In addition, no walk-ons will be allowed as attendance will be permitted only by reservations, with people being urged to arrive no earlier than 5 minutes before their reserved start time.
Register online at https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/luminaria-on-the-lawn.
Donations to the cancer society’s relay for life will be accepted at the time of registration. There will be two viewings to choose from: 7 to 7:45 p.m. and 8 to 8:45 p.m. Per state guidelines, a maximum of 50 people, including staff and volunteers, will be allowed during each viewing. Those guidelines are based on the current Massachusetts regulations and are subject to change.
In addition, Fawcett said, state and City of Attleboro health guidelines will allow 24 visitors who are already included within the 50 people allowed per outdoor viewing session to enter the gallery at one time that night. She said patrons will be welcome to view the museum’s “8 Visions” exhibit, featuring work from eight juried museum member artists, after spending time on the lawn.
Fawcett also cautioned that the Saturday evening event will not have a rain date. Luminaria on the Lawn will be the second major joint effort between the Relay For Life and the museum to be held this year.
In February, a first-time exhibit in the museum’s gallery titled “Luminaria” empowered 19 area artists to create their original renditions of the luminaria – candles lit at relays in honor of cancer survivors and in memory of cancer victims. The week-long exhibit proved popular and drew hundreds of spectators during Attleboro’s downtown Winter Night Festival on Feb. 22.
Now, six months later, the local relay committee and museum plan to renew their mutually successful collaboration.
“I see Luminaria on the Lawn as an extension of the Attleboro Arts Museum’s Luminaria exhibition held in our gallery during February,” Fawcett said of the August event. “Artful luminaria created by artists in their own style and medium were on view during the winter exhibit. I’d like to keep that light burning – and continue the museum’s support of the American Cancer Society with “Luminaria on the Lawn.”
Fawcett is especially pleased that the new event will help publicize the mission of the cancer society during the ongoing health emergency.
“This outdoor display of over 100 meandering paper bag luminaria will fill the museum’s lawn and honor those who have been touched by cancer,” Fawcett said. “Several of the artists who participated in the original exhibition have continued their involvement by decorating bags that will be on view.”
The Greater Attleboro Relay For Life, the oldest such event in the Attleboro area, began in 1999 at North Attleboro High School, where it was held until moving to Norton in 2018. It draws participants from most Attleboro area communities, including Attleboro, North Attleborough, Norton, Plainville and Rehoboth.