Autumn Bacchanal is set for Oct. 29 at Spankies

It's nearly that time of year - time to drink wine and eat gourmet foods while bidding on beautiful regional artwork - all in the name of raising money for our art students.

The 6th Annual Autumn Bacchanal is set for 1-5 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 29, at Spankies Restaurant. There will be a cocktail buffet from 1 to 2:30 p.m., followed by the live auction. Valet parking will be provided.

Tickets for the popular annual event are $25 a person if purchased before Friday, Oct. 27, or $30 at the door.

"This unique fundraiser offers this community a rare opportunity to collect the work of professional artists and, with their bids and purchases, provide critically needed scholarships," says Professor Sally Crain-Jager.

Proceeds go to "Festival of Arts" scholarships for art students on-campus and at the Craft Center. As a result of the past five Autumn Bacchanal events, 15 students were rewarded scholarships.

"This scholarship has been critical for enabling these students to continue their education in the arts," says Crain-Jager.

In addition to being a good cause, the Autumn Bacchanal is also a good time for participants. A cocktail buffet provided by Spankies and wine by regional wineries make for an enjoyable Sunday afternoon of eating and wine-tasting. Guests will also meet artists contributing to the auction, as well as art students.

And it's the artwork that makes the Autumn Bacchanal such a success each year.

"Graduates of our art degree programs, emerging professional artists and workshop instructors at the Craft Center, selected students in advanced studies, and the art faculty all join forces in providing guests with a glittering array of unique, original art," says Crain-Jager.

Media include paintings, drawings, and works in clay, fibers, glass, metals and wood, as well as mixed-media pieces. Art ranges from functional pieces such as ceramic and glass vessels to one-of-a-kind jewelry designs to two-dimensional works.

The idea for an annual Autumn Bacchanal began when Jon Josephson, owner of Spankies Restaurant and a Tennessee Tech graduate who took art classes while a student, wanted to provide a service to the university in a unique and fresh way.

"Since that time, 'J.J.' has faithfully supported this effort, enabling Tennessee Tech to build an endowed scholarship fund that will benefit art students for years to come," says Crain-Jager. "And the cocktail buffet served during the afternoon has become legendary! He provides a really wonderful variety of food."

Call 931-372-3161 to reserve tickets.