Drama Free Productions will pay tribute to the memory of a local artist Saturday with an event at the gallery he started.
''A Tribute to Coy'' will honor Coy Cornelius, who died in 2009. Cornelius, who was a board member with the Youngstown Area Arts Council, was a metal sculptor and designed artistically crafted furniture.
Ryan Johnquest, event coordinator of Drama Free Promotions, said ''Our desire is to tie together as many types of creative expressions as possible. We want to provide something for everyone, while introducing people to new experiences.''
The event will include an exhibition featuring the work of local and regional artists, including Bruce "B.J." Stepan, Nicholas Hartman, Hector Gonzalez, Tony Armeni, Jim Morrison, Darien Marie Brucoli, Jacquelyn Sponsler, Melissa Kosnac, Ryan Johnson, Judith Szabo, Alexander Meranto, Mark Hanley, Dylan Weaver, Alicia Lantz, Kelly Primozic, Allison Keith, Craig Latchaw, Mike Gaia, Scott Pergande and Ashley Swinehart. Hartman and Stepan will create paintings that night.
Local comedian Jaye Mills will host a charity auction at 9 p.m. and perform a short comedy set. Musical entertainment will be provided by Mark Hanley, Rob Thorndike and local DJs. Alex Meranto, a co-founder of Drama Free Promotions and one of the DJs on Saturday, said the music will be an eclectic mix of electronic dance music genres, including electro, dubstep and heavy bass.
Lezlie Thorndike, curator of Drama Free Promotions, said the group aims to make the area more aware of its creative core.
WHAT: ''A Tribute to Coy''
WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday until 2 a.m.
WHERE: Coy Cornelius Gallery, 1931 Belmont Ave., Youngstown
HOW MUCH: $5.
"We feel that our town has a lot of excellent resources, and we are trying to help people in the community to utilize those resources," Thorndike said.
Judy Rodgers, director of the gallery and Cornelius' widow, said she believes the event is an excellent way to honor her husband's creative spirit.
"It's a continuation of Coy,'' she said. ''Coy liked new vision and we called him 'A Vision Unborrowed.' He was very open to all new things and was always encouraging everyone. I think that's what the show represents. We are open to new things going on out there. I think he would like that.''
Rodgers and Cornelius owned the Youngstown Mattress Factory, which was located on West Federal Street in Youngstown. After it was destroyed in a fire in 2005, the couple opened the Coy Cornelius Gallery.
"After that, we came to the location of 1931 Belmont Ave., which was the former Ambrosio's Restaurant. The Ambrosios were friends of ours," Rodgers said.
Johnquest believes the tribute will be inspiring for the community.
''I do remember Coy Cornelius, and he was a sweet man,'' Johnquest said. ''I feel like what we are doing here with art and creative expression fits the theme with something he would appreciate.''
Thorndike has aspirations for Drama Free Promotions to continuously grow and to put on shows at different area venues.
"We want to do these types of shows in other places and not just one location,'' she said. ''It depends on the venue. Some places are good for a dance party, while some are good for dance parties, bands, independent musicians and classical style musicians. The curation isn't always a part of the event, but for A Tribute to Coy, the curation is part of the event.''