The operators of the Arts by the Bay Gallery in Havre de Grace will celebrate five years of being part of the downtown area this weekend.
A gala reception will be held at the gallery, which is at 500-B Warren St., Friday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., followed by demonstrations by six featured artists at the gallery from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and a Family Fun Day, with face painting and clay projects for children, from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Admission to the Friday gala is $20 per person; food will be provided by Laurrapin Grille of Havre de Grace, and there will be a cash bar with sangria as the specialty drink.
Admission to the Saturday and Sunday events is free and open to the public.
Director Pat Fair noted that "we are saying 'thank you very much' " to the people who helped get the gallery started in 2008 "and all the people who have come in the last five years who have helped us; they buy the work and we're able to stay here."
"Also, to celebrate the fact that the arts are alive and well in Havre de Grace after five years," Fair said.
Fair said the building the gallery is housed in was refurbished for free thanks to the efforts of her husband Allen Fair, a Havre de Grace real estate developer, and local builder Bill Putland to obtain donations of labor and materials from area contractors.
She said the refurbishment was worth more than $50,000.
"Between September and November , they turned it into the beautiful space that we have now," Pat Fair said.
The gallery is operated under the auspices of the Havre de Grace Main Street, Inc. organization as a nonprofit co-op organization. The 36 artists who pay annual dues must work in the gallery in order to have their work shown there.
"People understand that all the artists have to work in the gallery as part of belonging, so its manned by the artists themselves," Fair explained.
The building is owned through the Marquis real estate firm of Havre de Grace. Fair said she was able to rent the space for free for the first year because of Havre de Grace's designation by the state as an Arts and Entertainment District.
Property owners who rent or lease space in the district to artists are eligible for tax breaks, Fair said.
She said the gallery is also kept in business by contributions from businesspeople and civic leaders, and regular fundraisers.
The gallery's fourth annual Martinis with Monet fundraiser will take place Jan. 18, 2014, in La Banque de Fleuve in Havre de Grace.
Visit the gallery's website at http://www.artsbythebaygallery.com or its Facebook page for more information on the weekend events and the lineup of artists on Saturday.