Culture Map, November 8, 2016
Houston's largest silent charity art auction, Art on the Avenue, drew an eclectic crowd of over 900 art lovers and community supporters to Winter Street Studios over the weekend for two nights of celebrating and bidding on over 300 works of art and jewelry, all created by local artists.
Hosted by non-profit Avenue CDC, the annual art bash — a Houston tradition for 20 years — raised more than $200,000 to benefit local artists and Avenue’s affordable housing and community building initiatives.
The Thursday night Preview Party, hosted by Houston artists Jane Eifler and Caroline Graham, also featured the artistry of local chefs with "curated bites" from Javani King, Culinaire, Eculent, Glass Wall, Tout Suite, Lee's Creamery and Araya Artisan Chocolate for the VIP crowd.
Honorary chair John Walsh heaped praise on Avenue CDC for 25 years of transforming neighborhoods and applauded executive director Mary Lawler for her leadership. Artist Patrick Renner, with help from students at Yes Prep, created an original art installation, titled “Avenue Twist," honoring Avenue CDC’s 25th anniversary.
Guest juror Jennie Ash of Art League Houston announced the show winners. A photograph by Brian Ellison captured first place while a mixed media piece by Page Piland took second place.
The crush of art admirers at the preview party included Dana and Neil Kelly, John Hammond, Sue Payne, Steven Wagner, Trish and Rock Morille, Debbie McNulty and Dean Ruck, Elizabeth and Jack Weingarten, Ellie Sweeney, Derrick Mitchell and Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell, Gary Wolfe, Kathryn and Richard Rabinow, Kathy and Ted Zwieg, Sixto Wagan and Matthew Dirst, and Annette Santamaria and Bobby Bishkin.
On Saturday night, the auction and party weekend concluded with music from Texas Johnny Boy and another large crowd of art lovers who furiously bid on the wide array of paintings, sculptures and jewelry on display.