On a typical Saturday night, Dallas’ warehouse district just west of John Carpenter Freeway is pretty quiet. The parking lots are void of trucks loading and unloading, and there’s no hubbub of workers tending busily to their orders.
But on Saturday, September 16, the building at 8000 Ambassador Row was bursting with a sparkling showcase of art and activity for the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center‘s Art for Advocacy event, hosted by building owners Stephanie and John Roberts.
Dubbed “Paint a Picture of Hope,” the evening that included a reception and seated dinner drew a crowd of about 700 raising funds for DCAC, which provides life-changing services to victims of child abuse in Dallas County.
The annual event’s main attraction: about 80 pieces of donated art up for live and silent auction.
There was no doubt that event Co-Chairs Adriane Crosland, Megan Filgo and Kacy Tolleson provided the night’s glittering sparkle. Also lighting up the room were DCAC President and CEO Irish S. Burch and Melissa Ellis, making her debut as the event’s Curatorial Chair.
Melissa, now in her sixth year on the Art for Advocacy curatorial committee, said it took about a week to mount the huge show. She added that she was aiming for variety in the works — photography, paintings, sculpture, portraits, abstracts — and in the price points as well.
As luminescent as the co-chairs and principals were, the gents of the night were no slouches, either.
Take artist Brandon Harris, for instance. Clad in an eye-catching mustard-colored, double-breasted suit, Brandon proudly discussed his live auction contribution, “Contemplation,” with Tamera and Monte Martin.
Later, Brandon would explain that his mixed-media piece (acrylic, aerosol, glitter, Swarovski crystal) took about a month to create, and was intended to illustrate truth and give people “a sense of inspiration.”
“Contemplation” was one of eight works up for live auction.
The others included Carlyn Ray‘s “Transformation,” “I’ve Seen Hard Times” by Evita Tezeno, Kerry Strongman‘s “Infinity,” “Hope Eternal” by Dr. Samuel M. Lam and the Children of DCAC and William Atkinson‘s “Storm and Shelter.” Samuel and William’s pieces were a contemplative diptych and a thought-provoking triptych, respectively.
Throughout the mammoth showroom, the works of art on display for the live and silent auctions served as backdrops for countless “I was there” photos by guests like Emily Argo, Lauren Davis, Deborah Hartigan and Fury Zaidi. Among the pieces up for silent bid were Annie Griffeth‘s “Seat of Power: Presidential Portraits,” Leticia Herrera‘s “A Walk To Remember, Walker Series, ” “Blessings 3x” by Rachel Nash, Cayley Plutnick‘s “Clever Miss May Robson” and GG Reid ‘s “Across That Fine Line.”
Following dinner (salad, pesto chicken thighs and spaghetti squash), the live auction took place before guests enjoyed espresso martinis and a dessert reception.
Once all the receipts were toted up, DCAC says this year’s Art for Advocacy raised a record total of $1.6 million, netting $1.2 million to help abused children. The live auction brought in $139,000.