Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Art Auction

I have been getting more questions about the art auction I am helping out with, so I thought it was time to address it here. The thing about it is that it is very much like most other aspects of my life: it's ironic. Kelsey would be royally pissed about it, frankly. Not that her art is making its debut and will be used to help increase awareness about eating disorders, but that it took her death to get me to do it.

I had talked to her at one point about selling some of my stock and trying to fund a venture where we could sell her art. I envisioned a website people could order from and then setting up booths at Pecan Street (a twice annual street festival with artisan's booths along 6th Street in downtown Austin) and other similar festivals. She liked painting small canvases that were about the size of CD cases. I thought they were marketable, and it would be something she could thrive at if I could get her kick started. Then the stock market took a dive, my modest portfolio took a significant hit, and I began to worry about the long term prospects for my job, for good reason as it turns out, so I got cold feet. Kelsey was disappointed. Working at a sandwich shop for barely above minimum wage and fighting her eating disorder, she had no money for art supplies or the stamina to work and still paint. I let her down, but I didn't really know what else to do. I look at my mother and the amount of money it takes just to sustain her every month, and I know that Greg and I are far from secure. These are the hard choices life hands us.

But, as it turns out, her art will get its debut, and I will be helping to fund it. The proceeds will go to an fledgling organization to promote awareness about eating disorders. She would be okay with that part of the deal, she just would want to know why I didn't make a different decision when she was alive to benefit from it.

I should have, because she was an incredible artist. I'm not sure I even realized how much so until we were choosing pieces to display at her funeral. Most of the pieces were not things I had ever seen. Marissa knew where they were. As she pulled out more and more, I realized there was a lot about both girls I was totally isolated from, even as they lived under my roof. However, the art itself was amazing. Of course, I was not looking at them objectively, but I think most people would agree she had real talent and potential. Without the benefit of expensive supplies, she'd paint on anything. There are a few pieces on cardboard, including the self portrait we used for her memorial card. It was indicative of how a vision can't be squashed. Well, I guess it can be actually. Death squashed it.

But, did it? Will she live on a little by my agreeing to share her art to help raise awareness about the disease that ripped us apart for all those years? I guess we shall see. We hope those of you who can will see along with us. Any artists out there are encouraged to donate a piece and come to the event to promote your art. Don't do what we did; pursue your dream.

I can't get the flier to upload - it's too large, so I'll work on that, but for now, here's the scoop:

The "You are Beautiful" Silent Art Auction
February 20, 2010
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
at Space 12
3121 E. 12th Street
Austin, TX
Benefiting Austin Foundation for Eating disorders
Tax deductible art donations accepted through February 7, 2010
Cash donations always welcome
For more information:

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