Art with Heart

Whitman-Walker Clinic's 14th annual art auctions benefits Latino services

More than 70 artists are featured in the Whitman-Walker Clinic’s 14th Annual Art for Life auction, which benefits the clinic’s Latino services.

”It’s an eclectic collection,” says Vicente L. Rodriguez, co-chair of the event’s board of directors. ”There’s something for everyone here.”

According to Rodriguez more than 20 percent of Whitman-Walker Clinic’s clients are Latino.

”It’s becoming an increasing portion of the clients that we see,” he says, ”and this auction raises funds to support the services — especially the HIV testing van that we use within the Latino community.”

Among the artists who have donated their work to be auctioned off to benefit those services are this year’s honorees Mirta Meltzer and Virginia Schofield.

Meltzer, a resident of Washington who was born in Buenos Aires, has been donating her artwork, which includes silkscreen and mixed media, to Whitman-Walker Clinic for the past 10 years. Schofield, a Cuban-American artist, also a resident of D.C., who is known for mixed media on canvas, has been participating in fund-raiser over the past 12 years.

Whitman-Walker Clinic honors the two artists for their ongoing support, in a new tradition that started at last year’s event.

”Really the event would not exist without the generosity of the artists,” Rodriguez says.

Last year more than 150 people attended the event, which generated $65,000, according to clinic spokesperson Chip Lewis.

This year, organizers of the event introduced two pricing structures, one of which offers a VIP reception with the artists.

Last year, the exhibit featured 130 unique pieces. That number dropped this year to 75 because, says Rodriguez, ”[there] were challenges in getting in contact with artists who have moved over the past year.”

Still, he’s optimistic.

Says Rodriguez: ”The pieces that we have are really exciting and will continue to meet our goal.”

A VIP reception kicking off Art for Life is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 15, followed by a general reception at 6:30 p.m. At the Organization of American States, 17th Street and Constitution Ave. NW. Tickets are $75-$125. To purchase or for more info, visit www.wwc.org.

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