Conscious party: Eighth annual Art Affair

COLORING PERCEPTIONS: Using space donated by the Wedge Brewing Co., Open Doors teaching artist and donor Michelle Baker, pictured center, has been guiding local middle school students through a project involving body image and self esteem titled "I Am a Work of Art." Their finished products will be presented at the nonprofit's Art Affair fundraiser.
COLORING PERCEPTIONS: Using space donated by the Wedge Brewing Co., Open Doors teaching artist and donor Michelle Baker, pictured center, has been guiding local middle school students through a project involving body image and self esteem titled "I Am a Work of Art." Their finished products will be presented at the nonprofit's Art Affair fundraiser. Photo courtesy of Open Doors

WHAT: An art party benefiting Open Doors of Asheville

WHERE: The Foundation

WHEN: Saturday, March 11, at 6:30 p.m. (VIP reception at 6 p.m.)

WHY: Event chair Dosty Quarrier can list several reasons why the Foundation in the River Arts District is an ideal setting for Open Doors’ eighth annual Art Affair. Not only do the old buildings, with their murals and graffiti, embody this year’s “Urban Canvas” party theme, but many recipients of the nonprofit’s services — typically students in low-income households who are at risk of falling behind in school — live in nearby neighborhoods. Perhaps most importantly, though, the area is experiencing a boost of revitalization, in part from tenants like The Wedge Brewing Co., and 12 Bones. “It symbolizes what we want to do with the kids,” she says.

Providing educational resources to break the cycle of poverty is Open Doors’ top priority, Quarrier explains, but athletic and artistic programming are close runners-up. Currently, the nonprofit serves about 150 youths in these capacities, assessing “the whole child” to see who needs tutoring, who would excel in art lessons and who belongs on the soccer field, for instance.

Art Affair represents a significant source of funding for these activities, and it’s made possible by a pool of supporters with varying talents. This year, 40 restaurants are donating small plates for guests, and 75 artists have offered their creations up for auction — with some retail price tags in the thousands. “We do both a live and silent auction,” Quarrier says, noting mediums like ceramics, painting, wood, glass and jewelry. Auctioneer Andrew Brunk (known from “Antiques Road Show”) will officiate.

An upscale ambiance further distinguishes the fundraiser. “We have local artists that work on the decor, and Ananda hair salon shuts down their whole salon to style all of the [Open Doors] committee members,” Quarrier says, noting that the art handlers are also dressed en vogue. “It’s a real art spectacle.”

In addition to bidding rights, attendees enjoy an open bar with beer, wine and craft cocktails. Open Doors will also present its 2016 Laureate of the Year Award to an individual working to combat child poverty.

Visit opendoorsasheville.org for more information or to purchase tickets, which cost $100 per person. 

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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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