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Arts / Museums

Houston’s Biggest Art Auction Roars Into Winter Street Studios

Deals, Steals & Bargain Must-Haves — Your Expert Picks

BY // 11.03.16

Houston’s largest art auction supports history, creatives, and community. And it kicks off tonight, as Art on the Avenue unveils at Winter Street Studios, 2101 Winter St and picks up again with Saturday’s main event. Incredibly, this year’s art + foodie party also celebrates Ave CDC’s 25th year. (Don’t know this community development corporation? It’s mission centers around affordable inner-loop housing, preservation, and shopping hometown artists is even more prescient in 2016, than ever before.)

Peruse PaperCity‘s picks for best bets, with many of the 300-plus lots — encompassing all manner of painting on canvas, sculpture, jewelry and craft — available with bids starting below $300. (One year, I snagged an art-deco inspired, hand-beaded glass necklace and earrings for $150.)

Names to watch for and collect include Sandi Seltzer Bryant (the artist who helped developer Jon Deal lease Winter Street a decade ago, thus birthing the Washington Avenue Arts District), individually Dan Havel and Dean Ruck (known for their innovative Havel Ruck Projects), Glassell School of Art teacher/supreme watercolorist Ken Mazzu who records the elegiac beauty of crumbling buildings, pop-feminist collagist Kelly Moran, and Penny Cerling of the delicate mixed media work informed by nature. Also, check out the photo-based piece by Kathryn Rabinow (FYI, the artist’s daughter is Menil new hire, director Rebecca Rabinow.)

In keeping with the silver anniversary, guests are encouraged to don a touch of silver, while Patrick Renner of Funnel Tunnel renown creates a site-specific installation as an ode to Ave CDC’s first quarter century and Art on the Avenue’s “buy local” mission. Also, notable, guest curator/Art League Houston’s eagle-eyed Jennie Ash organizes an exhibition-within-the- auction of her recommended lots among the hundreds of works.

Well-regarded Houston artists Jane Eifler and Caroline Graham step up as chairs, tapping PaperCity’s Jailyn Marcel and James Brock as culinary curators. The foodie component of tonight, Thursday, November 3’s preview bash includes offerings from Lee Ellis, Javani King, Barbara McKnight, David Skinner, Araya Artisan Chocolate, Glass Wall, and Tout Suite. Moodafaruka entertains with its signature fusion sounds.

Best deal is to purchase the dual-night VIP ticket — $125 at the door —which gets you access to tonight’s preview party (6 to 9 pm) as well as the Saturday main action — the Auction and Party from 6 to 10 pm. Tickets for just Saturday, November 5, will be available at the door for $50

Tip: Watch for the Buy It Now option on all the auction lots, otherwise you’ll have to keep racing back and forth to monitor the bid sheets.

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