Big Deal is coming up. Join Visual Aid on Nov. 10 at 4 p.m. at Somarts, 934 Brannan, for their annual big bash. The fundraiser helps support Visual Aid’s programs, which provide free art supplies and important exhibition opportunities to professional visual artists with life-threatening illnesses. Now in its 18th year of service to the community, Visual Aid is gaining greater levels of public recognition through exhibitions at venues including San Francisco City Hall, the SF LGBT Community Center, and the annual signature Big Deal fundraiser.
One of the fascinating and unique aspects of Big Deal is that it provides a “snapshot” of the artistic activity in the Bay Area - a cross-section of work by students and professional artists. Some are household names; some are lesser known - working in all media, styles, and genres.
Visual Aid thanks the many artists and friends who have kindly donated their gorgeous paintings, sculpture, prints, photographs, collages, and mixed media works to the Big Deal fixed price sale.
Admission price of $45 includes hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and cocktails, and the opportunity to buy any piece of art at $160 plus tax. Over 500 artists have donated over 600 pieces of art. Ticket sales begin at 3 p.m.; doors open at 4, sales begin at 5. Please visit the website at visualaid.org for further Big Deal details, including how to donate artwork and last-minute drop-offs on November 8th and 9th. You will also find information on how to apply for Visual Aid’s programs - encouraging artists with life-threatening illnesses to continue their creative work.
Why donate? Read what two Visual Aid artists have to say: “The staff has been invariably kind and helpful on so many occasions in so many ways - helping to promote my work and giving good counsel,” says David, a San Francisco printmaker living with HIV/AIDS. “Visual Aid has given me the rare pleasure and good fortune of being supported and nourished physically, emotionally, and spiritually as an artist.”
“Having a chronic, life-threatening illness is very stressful. Visual Aid has helped enormously to bring the daily stress down, and give me a feeling of value,” says Sandi, a painter from Marin living with breast cancer. “Being accepted as a member of the ‘Visual Aid community’ was the beginning of acceptance toward my illness. It has taught me that being ‘disabled’ is not the end of my art practice - simply a turn in the river.”
“We are grateful for the annual donations of our supporters, which are applied to essential programs,” says Julie Blankenship, executive director. “Your contribution will make a tangible difference in the lives of Visual Aid artists. Please make a donation today! I urge you to give generously - $100, $500, or $1,000 - knowing that your gift will provide a deserving artist the chance to continue creating, and therefore, living.
Reflecting dramatic growth in recent years, Visual Aid serves 72 artists, and has increased annual funding of programs by 73% in the past 6 years.
Meanwhile, due to better public relations and the use of high visibility venues, visitors at annual exhibitions have tripled (29,000 in 2006). In order to continue to accept all qualified candidates and sustain a healthy growth trajectory, Visual Aid needs your help. They hold a special place in the arts community. Founded in response to the AIDS pandemic, Visual Aid has since proven to be an integral force of artistic passion and vision. They are the only art organization in the country that provides such a wide range of direct services.
You may send check or make an online donation at visualaid.org or call (415) 777-8242, and staff will process your charge. And don’t miss out on the Big Deal!