GALVESTON — The Galveston Arts Center will honor the contributions and accomplishments of Susan Shirley Eckel at the annual Sunset Buffet from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 18.

Each year, the Galveston Arts Center honors a deserving individual for their outstanding achievements and contribution to the growth and support of the visual arts in Galveston.

Community volunteer, arts advocate and gifted monotype artist, whose work is in numerous private collections, Eckel is being honored for her vision of a sustainable arts organization on Galveston Island.

Combining her passion for the arts and historic preservation, she was instrumental in the 1878 National Bank Building, 2127 Strand, becoming the location for the Galveston Arts Center.

In cooperation with the Junior League of Galveston County, of which Eckel was president at the time, the building was dedicated and renovated for use as a visual arts organization. In addition, she served on the Galveston Arts Center board of directors, leading the future of what is now the largest and most prestigious visual arts organization in Galveston County, offering art exhibits, classes, gallery talks and public art projects.

The Galveston Arts, currently at 2501 Market St., will return to the 1878 Bank Building when construction is complete. Fundraising efforts are underway to finalize the restoration.

The annual Sunset Buffet is hosted by the Galveston Arts Center at a different waterfront location each year.

Committee members are Mary Jo Naschke, Stephanie Vasut, Ulli Budelmann, and Karla Levy.

The community is invited to attend. Tickets to the event are $100 per person, $75 per member and includes beverages, buffet and a beautiful sunset. Dress is island casual.

Call 409-763-2403 or visit

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