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Newport Art Show Organized in Honor of Actor Bill Murray

Sara Cole hasn’t given up her “unrealistic” hope that Bill Murray will make his way to Newport this Saturday for an art show she’s organized in his honor.

“It's more likely that this will be the year I get a restraining order from Bill Murray instead of getting him to the event,” Cole said jokingly. “I've been tagging the man in every social media post. I've tried contacting him every way possible.”

Her only hope is the University of Louisville basketball home game slated for the same Saturday, Feb. 8.  Bill’s son, Luke Murray, is the assistant coach for the #5-ranked Cardinals.

Ode To Bill Murray will be held at the Artifact (114 East Eighth St., Newport). The free event will feature Murray-inspired artworks by twelve local artists from 5 to 10 p.m. 

“When I invited the artists to participate in this event I told them, Bill Murray art is not required, but it's also not frowned upon," Cole said. “Luckily a lot of us were inspired by the man of the night. You'll see a bunch of Murray-inspired art along with artists showing work that is their own unique style.”

Cole said that participating artists include a carpenter, photographers, those who use metal work, someone that combines sewing with art, and a wide variety of painting styles including portrait, surrealism, graffiti, abstract, and more.

Cole refuses to give up the hope that she’ll have her own “Bill Murray experience” at the show, just like those featured on the Netflix documentary series, The Bill Murray Stories.

She said that she’s also organized the event because she likes “the idea of supporting shopping small and shopping local.”

Cole chose the theme because she loves Bill Murray. Even though the well-known actor might not make an appearance, he will certainly be there in spirit as guests who channel their inner-Bill Murray participate in the costume contest.

“I'm excited to see all the Murrays in one space,” Cole said. “I thought what could be more diverse than a man who's career has lasted over 40 years and is still going strong.”

According to Cole, Bill Murray is a versatile actor, able to adapt to any role, whether comedy or drama.

Cole is also excited about artists meeting the person who hangs their art in their home. 

“A connection is made that you don't get when you buy something mass produced in a chain store,” she said. “There will be such a variety of unique locally handmade art.” 

There will be live music, a prize for the best Bill Murray costume, and food and drinks. The Artifact accepts both checks and credit cards. In addition, guests are invited to bring a donation of clean packaged socks.

“We would love people to donate to us for the Brighton Center,” Cole said. “It's winter, it's cold, socks are a simple donation that can easily be forgotten when donating. The Brighton Center is a great non-profit organization that works to create opportunities for individuals and families to reach self-sufficiency by way of various services and programs.”

Written by Melissa Reinert, RCN contributor

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