The WNC AIDS Project announces 2014 Raise Your Hand art competition winner

Press release from the Western North Carolina AIDS Project: 

The Western North Carolina AIDS Project Announces 2014 Raise Your Hand Signature Piece Winner Mark Bettis

The Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP) is gearing up for their annual Raise Your Hand fundraising auction & gala set for Saturday, October 11, at the Doubletree Hotel, Biltmore. This past Monday, the prestigious Signature Piece competition was held representing many of WNC’S finest artists. Pam Siekman, Raise Your Hand Chairperson, announced that this year’s winner of the juried competition was River Arts District Artist Mark Bettis, who is also represented by Gallery Minerva.   His winning entry is 36 x 48 oil, cold wax, and mixed media on wood entitled “Radiance.” The abstract image illuminates the feelings of tranquility and calm through the graceful designs and colors that draw you into a peaceful state. Finding inspiration in nature, Bettis has a unique style of combining layers of oil, cold wax, and mixed media that meld together color and energy as he goes to canvas. Mark is a longtime supporter of WNCAP and in 2013 he was the second runner up for the Signature Piece award.  Mark’s work is also currently featured in a solo show at 5 Walnut through June 30. First runner up was Spencer Herr for his 30 x 20 acrylic & graphite on birch panel “This Lovely World.” Spencer displays his creative paintings locally at the American Folk Art Gallery on Biltmore Avenue. Second runner up was River Arts District artist, Nancy Hilliard Joyce for her 36 x 36 acrylic on canvas titled “We’re in This Together.” These three award winning pieces will be featured in the live auction at the October 11 event. 
The jurors for this year’s competition were: Daniel McClendon of Lift Studios, the 2013 Signature Piece winner; M.C. Byrne, Co-Owner and Gallery Director of Gallery Minerva; and Jim Faucett, Executive Director of Youth Outright, and former Executive Director of the Henderson County  Arts Council.
“The Raise Your Hand auction is the agency’s second largest fundraiser and is expected to be an early sellout again this year,” stated Siekman. “Funds raised through this event are critical to the important mission of WNCAP. This year, more than ever, we are hoping to exceed all financial goals. WNCAP is still feeling the effects of state funding cuts in a fragile economy, creating a need to find additional resources to continue HIV/AIDS education and prevention across the 18 counties of WNC. Our services have expanded over the years due to the increased needs of our clients for assistance with housing, obtaining medications, food deliveries, and day to day support to help them live healthier lives.”  Those attending the auction will be enticed to bid on elaborate dinner packages presented by Asheville’s finest Chefs, antique collections, fine wines, get away vacations, and an impressive collection of local art. Andrew Brunk of Brunk Auctions will take to the stage for the Live Auction portion of the evening, encouraging the crowds to bid high and bid often for a most important cause. 
Tickets for the 2014 Raise Your Hand dinner and auction are $125.00 and go on sale August 1 at  or by calling 828-252-7489.

About Lea McLellan
Lea McLellan is a freelance writer who likes to write stories about music, art, food, wellness and interesting locals doing interesting things.

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