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Center events welcome holidays

The Johnson Center for the Arts will welcome the Christmas season Tuesday with two celebrations, Christmas at the Center and Christmas at the Studio.

The celebrations will open with Christmas in the Center at 5:30 p.m. and close with Christmas at the Studio at 6:30 p.m.

Christmas at the Center will include a silent auction, live music and the lighting of the Center’s 12 Christmas trees which have been specially decorated for the 2010 Christmas season.

The doors to the Johnson Center will open at 10 a.m. Tuesday so those who wish to post opening bids on the fantastic items on the silent auction block may do so. The silent auction will close at 6:30 p.m. and, at that time, all bids will be final.

Wiley White, Johnson Center development director, said the items donated to the silent auction would be treasured items on most Christmas lists.

“There is a wide variety of items that include ceramics and paintings and prints by Jean Lake, Phoebe Porter, Mose T., Bill Hill and Woodie Ishmael,” White said. “We encourage those who make early bids to come back during the day to see if someone has outbid them.”

Live music for Christmas in the Center will be presented by Shelia Jackson and the women’s choir from First Baptist Church.

A highlight of the event will be the lighting of the Center’s Christmas trees that include a Chrismon tree and a folk art tree.

“The Christmas trees are absolutely delightful,” White said. “There’s great variety and you can look and look and then see things that you missed.”

Several of the Christmas trees were decorated by students from Banks Schools, Troy Elementary, Pike Liberal Arts and Charles Henderson High School.

“We really appreciate the students being a part of Christmas at the Center,” White said. “Their creativity is amazing.”

Following the lighting of the Christmas trees, the doors to the Johnson Center for the Arts will close and the doors to The Studio across the street will open for Christmas at the Studio, which is a ticketed event.

“Christmas at the Studio includes dinner, live entertainment and a live auction,” White said. “There will only be about eight items up for bid at the live auction but they are really great items.”

The items include weekend getaways, fishing trips, an Auburn/Alabama package and the skybox for a Troy University football game.

Christmas at the Center and Christmas at the Studio are fundraisers for the Johnson Center for the Arts.

However, admission to Christmas at the Center from 5:30 until 6:30 Tuesday is free and everyone is invited to enjoy the live music and lighting of the Christmas trees.

Tickets for Christmas at the Studio are $50 each. To check availability for Tuesday’s event, call 670-2287.