Home for Good, Avalon’s Art Show FundraiserBy: Avalon Housing
Building Community through Art
“I’m going to be a real artist!” “People actually want to see my artwork!” “Oh my gosh, this is so exciting, let me fix my hair so you can take my picture!” These are just a few of the reactions I have heard from our Avalon clients and tenants after informing them that they were selected to be in our Art Show.
We knew we had many artists in our Avalon Housing community, and we were working to figure out the best form of displaying their art. After many discussions, it was decided that at Avalon’s October fundraiser – Home for Good – at Cornman Farms, we would incorporate an art show showcasing our client and tenant work. This is where I come in!
Let’s flash back to April. I was wrapping up my student internship working with families living with Avalon and was looking for something to do for the summer in a community building capacity. Working on the art show proved to be the perfect fit – it is a mix of working in community building and working directly with folks that live at Avalon. For the past 3 months, I have been working closely with Andrea Wilkerson (Community Relations Coordinator) to stir up excitement around the art show and meet with Avalon artists to submit art pieces.
After meeting with each artist, we took a photograph of the art they wanted to submit and brought it to a panel of volunteer judges, professional artists in our community. These judges selected which pieces should be included. After receiving feedback from the judges, Andrea and I began meeting with our selected artists to share the good news and collect their artwork. As we met with the artists, we encouraged each person to include a photograph of themselves as well as an artist statement to be displayed next to their work. To my surprise, many artists have opted in to include both a photograph and a statement!
The Artists and Avalon Benefit
During the beginning steps of planning what the art show would look like, we were really struggling to determine what the style of the show would be. I am excited to announce that Avalon’s art show will be a silent auction, with 50% of the proceeds going to the artist and the remaining 50% being donated to Avalon Housing. As Andrea and I explained the money and fundraising component of the show to our artists, it was so nice to hear that many of our artists were happy that Avalon was receiving a portion of the money raised because of the great work Avalon does for the community and for them.
As I sit here and reflect on the ups and downs of the art show process, I can’t help but smile. Through my work with this art show, I have seen just how much our Avalon community members support each other. As I walked down the halls advertising the art show and looking for submissions, I heard neighbors praising each other’s talent and encouraging each other to submit artwork. Each artist brings their own background.
Some artists bring 40 years of experience, while others submitted their first-ever piece of work. This art show is doing more good than anyone could have imagined. It is not only going to bring in funds to support Avalon, but it is bringing neighbors together. The art show is connecting our clients and tenants to the larger Avalon community, and it is building their self-esteem and pride.