By Jacqueline Carey
Autumn leaves crunching underfoot and the smell of wood-smoke in the air, sausages sizzling on the grill—welcome to Ox-tober!
No, that’s not a typo. Ox-tober is the first annual fall benefit for the Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists’ Residency, set for Saturday, Oct. 14. Break out your favorite bluejeans and flannels and come dressed in “camp casual” to enjoy autumn on the meadow.
For the full experience, add the option of taking part in a studio screen printing workshop taught by Oli Watt, a professor in print media at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. It will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. in the printmaking studio. Each participant will produce a screen-printed market bag. Workshop space is limited, so reserve your ticket now.
The main event from 5 to 9 p.m. will commence with cocktails, appetizers and a silent auction featuring hidden treasures from the Ox-Bow vault, work by staff, students and local artists.
Dinner, a fall grill prepared by Ox-Bow head chef Mikey Henderberg, will include salads, slaws,and artisanal sausage from Grand Rapids butcher Louise Earl. Beverages will include Bell’s Octoberfest Beer, award-winning Virtue Cider and custom cocktails such as the Free Fall Crush, made by Long Road Distillers using their Long Road Whisky, made with 100-percent Michigan grain, cider and cinnamon.
After dinner, guests can grab a slice of Chef Mikey’s Michigan apple tart Tatin or gingerbread stout cake, then gather around a bonfire to share fellowship and conversation, or dance on the meadow while DJ John Rossi spins tunes.
Ox-tober is designed to allow guests to partake in the quintessential Ox-Bow experience — making art, reveling in nature, eating and drinking the best of our region, lingering over the fire pit — all while supporting Ox-Bow’s scholarships and programming. Special thanks are due to Herman Miller, a premier sponsor of the benefit.
Tickets for the print workshop are $75 per person and limited to 20. Tickets for the dinner and auction are $100 per person. All are available online at ox-bow.org/ox-tober. For more information, call Cindy Peterson at ((616) 886-5340 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
New York Times best-selling author and Saugatuck Township resident Jacqueline Carey is an Ox-Bow stewardship committee member.