Art for AIDS 2014: A Rousing Success

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Photo by Jeff Chan

In the warm glow of a gorgeous Bay Area fall evening, hundreds of guests joined the UCSF Alliance Health Project (AHP) for the eighteenth annual Art for AIDS fundraiser on September 19th. This high-energy art auction, trumped last year’s efforts, by raising a whopping $292,000 for the LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities.

Gorgeously displayed art and a bustling crowd set the mood for a fun-filled evening that included spirited bidding, wine sipping and noshing. Nearly 700 guests enjoyed wine from Rosenblum Cellars and Miner Family Winery, spirits from Reyka Vodka (provided by Young’s Market), and nibbled on food from the gourmet restaurants Bisou, Beso, Garibaldi’s, and Precita Park Café. This year’s Art for AIDS also celebrated AHP’s thirty years of service to the LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities.

According to AHP Director Lori Thoemmes, the atmosphere was a joyous one. “In my eyes, Art for AIDS was a smashing success this year,” she said. “We had phenomenal art generously donated by artists, that sold as we hoped, and tremendous supporters who came and demonstrated their dedication to the work done at AHP.”

New and veteran talent from the local art scene donated their works, while supporters of AHP came together and bid on more than 180 pieces of art. Thoemmes continued, “We had outstanding community representation through staff and volunteers the night of event, vendors providing food and wine, businesses donating certificates for sale and artist donating their work.”

The exciting Live Auction was just one highlight as guests circulated through the City View with a spectacular San Francisco skyline visible to the east. Bidding continued in the Silent Auction sections of Drawings and Prints, Photography, Mixed Media and Sculpture, Paintings, and Certificates. Many guests made sure to stop by AHP’s red carpet photo shoot to pose for the volunteer photographers and help make the event even more memorable. In City View’s spacious and elegant setting, Art for AIDS has grown in size and stature—increasing AHP’s fundraising capacity.

The UCSF Alliance Health Project is San Francisco’s primary mental health and wellness clinic for the LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities. Founded in 1984, as the AIDS Health Project, AHP is also one of the oldest HIV organizations in the country. AHP’s mission is to support the mental health and wellness of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities in constructing healthy and meaningful lives. Our pioneering work includes mental health crisis services for those living with HIV, the first HIV counseling and testing program, and a myriad of individual and group counseling programs that focus on issues related to LGBTQ wellness, preventing and living with HIV, and responding to substance use.

Proceeds from Art for AIDS go towards helping AHP sustain services that are crucial to improving the lives of the more than 6,500 clients seen annually.