Fort Mill Times

The River Rat serving Art Night May 20 in Lake Wylie

Jonay di Ragno paints at a point near his River Hills home in Lake Wylie. The artist is working to bring gallery events to Lake Wylie, beginning with Art Night on May 20 at The River Rat restaurant.
Jonay di Ragno paints at a point near his River Hills home in Lake Wylie. The artist is working to bring gallery events to Lake Wylie, beginning with Art Night on May 20 at The River Rat restaurant. jmarks@lakewyliepilot.com

On The River Rat menu for May 20 – fine art.

The restaurant on S.C. 557 will host its first Art Night from 6 to 9 p.m. May 20, featuring local and regional artists in what organizers hope will become a monthly event.

“It’s going to be a gallery exhibition,” said Spanish artist and River Hills resident Jonay di Ragno. “It’s going to be transformed that night into a gallery.”

The event includes live music, hors d’oeuvres and a cash wine bar. The two largest of five seating areas will be converted for the event, leaving the front three open to diners.

Gerry Woods, event planner at The River Rat, said ideally the art will draw in more diners and diners who are interested in art.

“We’re hoping it works both ways,” Woods said. “The goal is to have something different from the usual event.”

Art Night began in part with a redecoration at the restaurant, where several paintings from local artists hung. Conversation turned toward promoting local artwork.

“Galleries around here in Lake Wylie, we don’t have any,” di Ragno said. “We need to promote culture.”

The group plans to hold Art Night the third Wednesday of each month.

“This is just the beginning,” di Ragno said. “We don’t want to go halfway with this.”

The first event will showcase five to 10 artists, and up to 80 pieces of art. For more information, call the restaurant at 803-831-5455.

John Marks •  803-831-8166

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