Arts + Entertainment

Art Lotto connects artists

Harrisonburg’s FIRST EVER Art Lotto will be held in August of 2012. Art Lotto is a juried art show comprised of portraits of artists created by other artists.

The original idea for Art Lotto was born in the summer of 2011. Local artists and friends, Brandy Somers and Denise Kanter Allen, discussed the idea of bringing creative, artistic people together for a portrait show. That is, an art show that consisted only of portraits of artists done by other artists.  That idea soon morphed into what is now known as Art Lotto.

Denise Kanter Allen and Brandy Somers. Photo by Pat Jarrett.

The purpose of Art Lotto is to create a unique event that inspires artists to collaborate with other artists and also to celebrate the creativity and artistic efforts presented by multiple levels of artists. There was a three-month call for artists in which interested individuals signed up to participate.  The goal for this inaugural year was to encourage at least 30 artists to sign up.  They surpassed their goal and gathered 43 participants!

Armed with a bingo cage filled with 43 ping pong balls with 43 names written on them, Brandy and Denise hosted the Luck of the Draw event at Blue Nile in Harrisonburg on March 13.  Nearly all participants were in attendance.

The Bingo Cage holding the artists' names. Photo by Sarah Murphy.

Each artist was randomly called up to spin the cage, reach inside, and pull out a ball with a name on it.  The name they selected is the artist they will portray in their own artistic medium and style for the August Art Lotto Art Show. The group of artists involved use a wide range of media including photography, wood sculpture, painting, drawing, and collage.

Ping pong balls with artist names for Lucky Draw Night. Photo by Brandy Somers.

With the passing of the Luck of the Draw event, all artist were informed of the artist they will portray and also the artist that will portray them.  Each participant will connect with their two artists to gain inspiration and form ideas for their portraits. Many artists have already begun this exciting process by setting up meetings to get together and start a conversation with fellow artists.

The hunt for sponsors to fund the Art Lotto will take place during the first few weeks of April.  Money raised for this event will go towards providing refreshments on opening night, awards and prizes, advertising, and an artist “yearbooklet,” and all leftover funds will be presented as a donation to benefit a local organization. To involve sponsors in the fun, a portrait of a rep from each business will be drawn in contour line (coloring book-style) and  any child that joins the First Friday opening in August will get to color a sponsor in the Kids Corner for a chance to win a prize!

The public can stay up-to-date via the Art Lotto Facebook page or Brandy Somers Photography Facebook page. You can also email questions to  Brandy Somers or Denise Kanter Allen.


And speaking of art, tonight marks the kick-off event (5-8 pm) for the 2012 First Fridays season downtown! The following Art Lotto artists will be holding show openings tonight:

April Sedeen at Ten Thousand Villages (181 S. Main Street)

Denise Kanter Allen at Mint (128 W. Market Street, Suite 103 )

Nicole Martorana at The Yellow Button (192 S. Main Street)

Pat Jarrett at Friendly City Food Co-op (150 E. Wolfe Street)


Brandy Somers and Denise Kanter Allen are local artists and co-founders of Art Lotto.


One thought on “Art Lotto connects artists

  1. Love how this turned out! Kudos for including Art Lotto! Keep up the good work and stay posted for more Art Lott happenings!!!—dk

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