Get your tickets for Kemper Center's Gallery of Trees
The Kemper Center's annual Gala and Gallery of Trees, its most important fundraiser of the year, runs Saturday, Nov. 28, to Sunday, Dec. 6.
This holiday event showcases a display of holiday trees that range from 4 to 9 feet tall, wreaths, mantelpieces and centerpieces. All trees and decorations are auctioned or raffled off to raise funds to support the operations and ongoing restoration of the Kemper Center and Anderson Arts Center, 6501 3rd Ave., Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The Gallery of Trees kicks off with a gala from 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28, that includes a silent auction, raffle, holiday gift shop, first look at the historically decorated Durkee Mansion, appetizers and desserts, and a cash bar.
Tickets are $25 and are available on the Kemper Center website, over the phone, or at the door.
The Gallery of Trees and historic Durkee Mansion will then open to the public from 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29, and Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 3-6. Admission is free and includes tours of the entirely decorated Kemper complex, Gallery of Trees, and Durkee Mansion. While there, you can purchase raffle tickets to win the trees and holiday decorations and shop in the Holiday Gift Shop.
This year's Durkee Mansion theme is "Magical Lantern Glow," in honor of the 150th year of Kemper Hall, when alumnae carried lanterns in procession. Each year, the Durkee Mansion is decorated by volunteers in a different theme, incorporating period-accurate holiday decor from the 1860s. All decorations are either handmade or antique.
The Kemper Center is taking COVID-19 precautions to ensure the safety of all guests, volunteers and staff. Additional areas of the Kemper Center not open in previous years, including the chapel and Ambrose Hall, will be open and decorated to help with guest flow and spacing.
Trees will be spaced out 8 feet apart around the buildings, and staff and volunteers will be wearing masks.
The Kemper Center is also encouraging the community to buy their gala tickets early so that capacity limits can be adhered to; staff and volunteers are prepared for guest counts.
"The Gallery of Trees has become a time-honored tradition for our visitors and for us," Kemper Center Executive Director Ed Kubicki said. "We have worked very hard to create a beautiful holiday event for the community, but also a safe one. We do not take COVID-19 lightly, and are continually evaluating the event and taking every precaution we can."
The Anderson Arts Center will also be open during the same hours as the Gallery of Trees with its current Winter Juried Exhibition. The Arts Center will also be decorated for the holiday, featuring a collection of nutcrackers, and will be raffling off a 3-foot tall chocolate Santa.
"We are overwhelmed by the generosity of our sponsors and excited to have fabulous tree designers showcase their creative talent," Kemper Center Administrator Robin Ingrouille said.
"With visitor safety a priority, we look forward to hosting a dazzling event that has become a holiday tradition for the community and the start to the holiday season."
The Gallery of Trees is sponsored by Abatron, BMO Harris Bank, Camosy Construction (Anderson Arts Center Underwriter), Dickow/Cyzak Tile Company, Fahey O'Connell Family Dentistry and Orthodontics, FPS Finishing and Plating Service Inc., Herzing University, Insite Consulting Architects, the Kemper Center Board of Directors, Kenosha Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Palmen Auto Stores, and Snap-On.
Funds raised during the Gallery of Trees support and sustain the Kemper Center's mission, help preserve the nature of the site and buildings, and help to promote the arts and art education in the community.