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Visual Art

Charity Art Auction Supports Affordable Housing Initiatives

The yearly event raises about $200,000 for Houston’s Avenue CDC organization.


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Picture of Joe Havel
Amy Bishop
Artist Joe Havel, next to a painting by his brother, Dan. Havel is serving as juror for the exhibition, having hand-picked about 60 works to be displayed in the main gallery.
Picture of people setting up for Art on the Avenue
Amy Bishop
Setup for Art on the Avenue is underway at Winter Street Studios near downtown Houston.

Art on the Avenue is not your typical charity auction. It's the biggest in Houston, with more than 250 pieces donated by local artists. The proceeds go toward supporting Avenue CDC, an organization that creates affordable housing – not just for low-income families – but also members of the creative community.

"One of the problems that we're having right now is that some of the artists are being forced further out with the rental rates in town," says Tami Merrick, the curator for the event.

In other words, the stronger Avenue CDC becomes, the more they're able to provide reasonably-priced home and studio space in the city.

The Glassell School of Art Director Joe Havel is serving as a juror for the exhibition. He's hand-picked about 60 works from the collection to be shown in the main gallery.

"An artist might have spent two months on a work that's here that's going to go for less than they would put it out for retail," Havel says. "And it's a really generous gift that the arts community gives to Houston that's often completely invisible."

On average, the yearly auction raises between $150,000 and $200,000 for the organization.

Art on the Avenue's preview party is Thursday night, followed by a silent auction on Saturday at Winter Street Studios near downtown.

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