The Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP) is preparing for their 29th annual Raise Your Hand Auction & Gala to be held on Saturday, September 23rd at the Asheville Event Centre. The WNCAP gala is a well-established fundraiser in Asheville, attracting over 250 patrons from throughout WNC, with visitors from nearby cities like Atlanta, Charlotte and parts of Tennessee. Attendees return year after year to celebrate the art scene in Asheville and support the only HIV/AIDS organization in the region.
“It’s an exciting time of year” says Pam Siekman, the Chairperson of the event, confirming details, reaching out to local artists and inviting them to compete for the 2017 Signature Piece of Art. It’s not only an art competition; it’s an invitation to the art community to engage them at the core of fighting HIV/AIDS and raising funds to help eradicate the disease in western North Carolina.
Harry Brown, WNCAP’s Special Events Advisor and the Raise Your Hand Signature Piece Chairperson announced the jurors of this year’s competition today:
Constance Williams, the 2016 Signature Piece winner and renowned Asheville artist returns to WNCAP as a juror this year. Constance Williams’ “paintings transcend, by linking a multitude of mediums she has worked in, which becomes a rhythmic dialog, endlessly re-imagined; deviations of expanded and contracted elements from previous paintings. A mostly self-taught artist, she is endlessly stimulated to experiment, originate, and employ new ways to use and combine mediums and substrates." Williams is a longtime friend and supporter of WNCAP.
Virginia Derryberry, College Art Association 2017 Distinguished Teaching of Art, Professor of Art, Emeritus UNC Asheville. Prestigious award winning artist, Derryberry’s work is shown regularly in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States, and her paintings have been written about in an extensive list of publications including several exhibition catalogs (2016, 2014, 2009, 2008, 2006, 1998), New American Paintings magazine, and the Oxford American Magazine. Her solo exhibition, Private Domain, shown in February, 2016, at the S. Tucker Cooke Gallery, UNC Asheville, has traveled to venues in South Carolina, Alabama and Pennsylvania during 2016 and 2017.
Erin Kellem, Artist and Curating Manager Woolworth Walk. Erin Kellem is an award-winning artist with decades of photography experience. Her portfolio includes landscapes and coastal images and, after moving to Asheville in 2002, architectural images as well. Erin's work was shown in several galleries in California and several galleries here in Asheville, most notably Woolworth Walk. In mid-2003 Erin joined the Woolworth Walk gallery staff. Being a working artist and a gallery manager simultaneously for many years gained her a unique perspective and has influenced her present role as Curating Manager.
“These three distinguished jurors will be faced with the task of selecting the 2017 Signature Piece of Art says Harry Brown.Their selection is an important component of the Raise Your Hand Auction and Gala. It is the centerpiece of the live auction and expected to bring in top dollar by auctioneer Andrew Brunk of Brunk Auctions” says Brown. Entries are due to the WNCAP office on Thursday, June 8th and the competition will take place on June 12th. “Now more than ever, the money raised by fundraising efforts such as this are critical to the non-profits in Asheville, especially when it comes to eradicating HIV/AIDS.” states Brown.
WNCAP has established a strong marketing campaign for their gala. The winning piece of art and two runner-ups enjoy visible promotion across Asheville and on social media. In addition, the winning piece of art will be featured on the event poster, print advertisements, the cover of the event program, and various exhibits in Asheville and Hendersonville.
WNCAP provides HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs throughout the 18 counties of Western North Carolina. They also provide Case Management Services to people living with the disease helping them to live more engaged and healthy lives. Donations are greatly appreciated and of the utmost value to WNCAP. To learn more about WNCAP and the Raise Your Hand Auction & Gala or to schedule a meeting and a pickup of your art work donation visit www.wncap.org or contact the WNCAP office at 828-252-7489