Art on the Avenue, Houston’s ultimate “buy local” art charity event, made a triumphant return for its 24th year in the local art scene. Avenue, a local affordable home building non-profit organization, hosts the annual silent auction to further efforts of community building while showcasing the vibrant artistry of Houstonians.
Art on the Avenue has become known as Houston’s largest silent charity auction, with almost 500 original works of art from a diverse range of local artists. Each purchase made across this three-day event benefited the flourishing local arts community and helped further Avenue’s mission to build affordable homes and strengthen local communities.
After an abridged version of Art on the Avenue in 2020 due to COVID health and safety concerns, the auction and festivities were successfully held online and in-person for a hybrid experience. Bidders and art lovers were able to enjoy this electric event in person while following safety protocols in person at Winter Street Studios (2101 Winter Street). Additionally, all were welcomed to bid online. Online participants utilized Qtego online bidding software to participate in Art on the Avenue remotely. The virtual auction was accessible throughout the three-day event.
“We were very excited to be back at Winter Street Studios for our 24th year of Art on the Avenue. Experiencing this creative, passionate atmosphere and our accomplished artists in-person something we do not take for granted. It is a privilege to showcase these individuals while supporting the Avenue mission to build affordable homes and strengthen our community,” said Mary Lawler, executive director for Avenue. “This event greatly benefits our mission to ultimately make affordable housing more accessible in Houston. We strive to bring our community together through our housing initiatives, and there is no medium that aligns with our mission more than art.”
Lawler acknowledged that Houston artists make Art on the Avenue possible through their craft, and that some participants graciously donated 100 percent of the proceeds from their art directly to Avenue’s community building efforts. Next year, Avenue will celebrate the 25th year of Art on the Avenue and Houston’s diverse, eclectic arts community.
The community spirit was kept alive with food and beverages provided by local vendors. Local bistro Alice Blue served curated bites at the Thursday evening preview party. To showcase some of the finest Houston breweries, Avenue hosted Brews on the Avenue on Friday, Nov. 5. Guests were invited to sample brews from Saint Arnold Brewing Company, True Anomaly Brewing Company, Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co., and Local Group Brew. Following the Friday night party, guests enjoyed Saturday’s open exhibition hours to bid on art and meet the student artists who contributed to the student art show.
At the preview party, guests were provided a first look at the available artwork and a gallery talk from Guest Juror Steven Matijcio, who serves as chief curator of the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston and artistic director of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts. As Guest Juror, Matijcio curated a collection for the Art on the Avenue juried gallery. Artists Andre Shepard and Carolina Otero’s pieces were selected for first and second place, respectively, with Yvonne Gerych’s work receiving honorable mention.
Also attending the preview party were co-chairs for the 2021 Art on the Avenue, Julie and John Cogan. Julie Cogan serves on the Board of PROSPECT in New Orleans and the Asia Society Exhibitions Committee, while John also serves on the Board of Asia Society, Texas Center.
Following a particularly hard year for the arts, Art on the Avenue raised $230,000 to benefit affordable housing for Houston communities. These funds are used by Avenue to enhance the quality of life for working families while promoting healthy, thriving and economically diverse neighborhoods. To learn more about Avenue’s impact, visit avenuecdc.org.