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Visual AIDS Postcards From the Edge Benefit 2007

Visual AIDS is an excellent charity that benefits artists who have AIDs and other diseases. Nelson de Santos, often accompanied by the ever-faithful Sparky (a four footer waggy tailer), heads up the charity benefit and he does an amazing job. Last year, I stumbled into this group, almost literally, as I was just beginning to make my rounds checking out galleries and shows in Chelsea.

Since then I continue to be impressed as I discover more about this group.

Visual AIDS hosts what may be the most informational website about AIDS currently online. The information there, all free, helps people around the world, whether or not they are artists. Of course, the charity, headquartered in NYC also provides much help to artists who are dealing with the disease and similar afflictions by providing much needed assistance in many ways. Their web site also has web-only curated art exhibits that are worth checking out: http://thebody.com/visualaids/index.html

This year's event is hosted by the James Cohan Gallery. Quite coincidentally this gallery graciously assisted me when I wrote my first full article on gallery shows; previously I had written about museum shows and added in gallery mentions occasionally along side them. The amazing museum quality show, Cosmologies remains one of the best shows I have seen. I recently found other well deserved excellent reviews of it at the Chelsea Art Galleries site by Roberta Smith (NY Times) and Jerry Saltz (then Village Voice, now New York Magazine).

The Preview Party is an event that promises a good time, as people are quite friendly.  It is less like an opening and more like scavenger hunt along gallery walls covered with postcards. The search is on to find the work by well known artists. Some of those cards are worth a whole lot more that the $75.00 asking price. Artists known and established or unknown all donate one postcard. The cards are only signed on their back, so guessing who the artist was is half of the fun. Complete strangers ask each other for advice, while friends and couples playfully disagree over the cards.

When I was walking up the street last year, from the rear I saw elegantly dressed ladies in evening wear and I thought, uh oh, I am sooo under dressed , even though I was wearing an outfit I thought of as "casual -professional-party". People wear costumes or go in fabulous, elegant formal drag (hence those elegant ladies), which adds to the gaiety, but most participants also came in my kind of "casual-professional-party" wear, but some chose the ever popular, "clean-but-raggedy- artist" look. The mix of people is eclectic, accepting and fun.

With some of the postcards it is fairly easy to figure who the artist is. Many are not easy to guess and of course not all artists are known. Though I am the founder of a new theory of art and even have a manifesto, I am an emerging artist. Last year I was so newly emerging that even I had hardly even heard of me. Even so, my work sold, making it the first work I ever sold from a NYC gallery.

I wasn't really surprised as when I am willing to show (by then I had learned I needed to be picky where I show original work) my stuff tends to sell. But selling for the first time in NYC from from Sikkema Jenkins & Co.? Priceless. (See the image at right.) This year I contributed a postcard that was created using the texts I use in the Genesis: Sunset-Sunrise series, once again. Somehow dealing with formation --  creation itself seems healing and hopeful.  Relevant to a cause for artists  struggling with debilitating and life threatening illness. So the strokes are the letters from Genesis 1-2:7, and Deut. 6:4.

Sunset for VisualAids 2006
(Image taken from a postcard later made from that image and placed upon a black background)

Major galleries, all some of the best galleries in the world but located only in NYC, take turns hosting the three day event. The actual show is run by Visual AIDS so if you have any questions do not contact the gallery, but email Nelson Santos at nsantos@visualAIDS.org . If you can volunteer to help, contact Nelson also, and I suspect they could use volunteers year round in one way or another.

This year I am happily looking forward to having a work sold from the James Cohan Gallery -- granted it is not by the gallery, but even so, it seems like a perfect way to herald in the holiday season to me.

The Preview Party is Friday, November 30, from 6:00 -8:00 PM. I plan to be there so look for a tallish blonde woman wearing something purple (my coat is purple, too) that is "casual -professional-party." I would like to meet you -- tell me you've been to my web site!

Here's the info needed to mark on calendars:

Preview Party

Friday, November 30 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Hosted by the James Cohan Gallery at 533 West 26th Street (between 10th & 11th Avenues).

$75 admission includes one raffle ticket. Additional raffle tickets $20.
One Lucky Winner will select any postcard that evening!
Participating artists attend and I plan to be there, so look for the tallish blonde woman wearing purple.
Sneak peek only -- NO POSTCARD SALES.

Benefit Sale
Saturday, December 1 on World AIDS Day from 12:00 - 6:00 PM &
Sunday, December 2 from 12:00 - 4:00 PM
$5 Suggested admission

Over 1,000 original postcard-sized works of art.
ONLY $75 EACH. Buy four cards and get one free. Cash, check or credit card

UPDATE: Dec. 23, 2007 received an email from Nelson & Amy that giving info as to who the new collector is that bought the postcard.

November 13, 2008



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