An office furniture showroom that doubles as a music venue and art gallery is more than a chance to catch a show from the seat of a swivel chair.
For more than a year, the owner of Office Furniture Outlet has opened his doors to local artists eager to share their talents in an unusual but comfortable setting.
Kids are welcome, and the room is free of the smoke found in some local bars.
Owner Ron Vestal hosts the four-hour open mic on the second Saturday of each month at 519 N. Franklin St. in York City.
Paintings and photographs for sale line the gallery's walls. A Tarot card reader, jewelry maker and sketch artist make regular appearances. There are food and wine for the taking.
The events are fun, with a larger purpose aimed at establishing York "as an artist hub," Vestal said.
About two years ago, Vestal said he started brainstorming ways to boost business.
"I realized I've got all these walls and I wasn't using them," he said.
Vestal said he decided to hang some art, and soon Second Saturdays were born.
"It became an entity and started happening on its own," he said.
The casual parties, which run from 5 to 9 p.m., are also fundraisers for varying causes.
This Saturday, the event will benefit a memorial scholarship fund named for a 20-year-old Drexel University student who died in 2012.
Christopher Peterson was a third-year student studying business and marketing when he succumbed to meningitis, his mother, Cheryl Peterson, said.
Cheryl Peterson is now the event coordinator for Second Saturdays. The scholarship fund will help Drexel students who are from York County, she said.
She said her son, who graduated from Exeter High School, was a generous person. For example, as a fourth-grader, he tutored first- and second-graders before school, she said.
"He just had a strong compassion for mankind," Cheryl Peterson said.
The scholarship fund is a way to honor Christopher's generous spirit, his mother said.
Organizers suggest a $5 donation for people who attend Saturday's event. There will be raffles of donated art, and a portion of revenue from sales also benefits the cause.
"To be able to continue to give through his name, his spirit and his memory, brings comfort," Cheryl Peterson said. "He's going to continue to live on in so many ways."
— Reach Erin James at email@example.com.