YOU, yes, each and every one of you!, are invited to the 6th Annual Benefit Art Auction and Party at Gallery Aferro in Newark, NJ this upcoming Saturday June 14. This festive event features an exciting auction of hundreds of artworks by emerging and established artists, live jazz performance by the William Spaulding Quartet, fun activities including a #newarknj selfie station and interactive performance by artist Jackie Du, strong signature cocktails and endless icy craft beer from Hunterdon Brewing, fine catering, and 30+ wonderful door and raffle prizes including dancing lessons, theatre tickets, and more, with afterparty by LVL UP and DJ Demie. Museum curators and members of the business community will mingle with artists, supporters, curious first-time attendees, and a family whose two children quite literally save their allowance all year long in order to purchase artworks. It’s going to be so much fun. Advance tickets are discounted over the door price, and are for sale here: https://squareup.com/market/gallery-aferro
This year is really, really special for us. Each year, all proceeds make possible Gallery Aferro’s year-round exhibitions, award-winning artist residencies, publications, education program, public art initiatives. But for 2014, your support goes to our wildly ambitious expansion project creating a 90,000 square foot arts center on Market Street in downtown Newark. You read that correctly. Ninety thousand square feet, in centrally located Newark, the largest city in New Jersey.
The space at 73-77 Market Street will attract and engage local residents, visitors, artists, students, and others in three adjacent buildings on one block. Working with collaborative partner organizations, myself and my partner and Co-Founder/Artistic Director Evonne M. Davis, have designed the newly expanded Gallery Aferro to include dozens of artist studios, new presenting spaces for visual arts, cinema and music, printmaking space, a photography co-op, classrooms, and flux space for community programming like hackathons, poetry slams and yoga.
Also on view on June 14th will be a new rotation of our public art project, Activate: Market Street. Storefronts on our block (75, 77, and 85 Market Street) will feature installations and experimental film by Brooklyn-based artists Ivan Martinez and Matthew Cox, and Italian collective Lemeh42. Martinez and Cox will be performing in the windows all summer!
I so vividly remember the very first Gallery Aferro benefit. It was like an urban barnraising. Everyone helped. A friend offered to come and play music. What we didn’t know was that as word spread many of her friends also decided they would come. So as the night progressed, about 15 African drummers arrived, creating wonderful music that made people dance and the building shake. I have never forgotten that feeling of being at the center of a strong, supportive community. We have continued to develop the event since then, but we always feel that amazing energy from the crowd. Live music mixes with shouts as door prizes are announced. It is so inspiring to see our whole community together having a good time in the sweet summer air.
So on June 14th, for one night only, unique artworks will be available for sale at prices that will enlarge or establish your collection. Delight a friend, colleague or loved one with the gift of artwork. Bring someone who’s never been to the gallery, or to Newark. Bask in the knowledge that you’ve supported downtown vibrancy, the free exchange of ideas, and arts access for the next generation. Dance and have fun!
If you cannot attend but would like to support this ambitious community-building effort, fully tax-deductible donations to the gallery can be made via aferro.org
Images provided by Gallery Aferro.