“Auction Off Downtown”

by Rita Mandelenis on April 6, 2006

The San Francisco People’s Organization (SFPO) will host Auction off Downtown, an evening of art, community and politics. The auction is on April 8th and organizers are striving to raise money for the nonprofit group. The event will include about 70 pieces for a silent auction and 20 pieces for a live auction.

Former Mayoral candidate Matt Gonzalez will be the live auctioneer. He also has donated his first piece of artwork, a collage, to be auctioned off.

SFPO began in June 2005 to bring San Francisco’s diverse communities together as one, and work towards positive social change. The proceeds from the auction will go towards hiring an organizer/administrator and help fund the group’s 2006 membership conference.

“Auction off Downtown” is named in honor of San Francisco artist Debora
Walker, who donated a piece titled “Downtown Afternoon.” Walker has been displaying her artwork throughout the city since the early 1990s, and is currently the President of the Building Inspection Commission. According to her website, she believes that art can be political and promote social change. She urges fellow artists to “continue to enlighten our public servants of a larger vision.”

Catherine Rauschuber, SFPO Board Treasurer, is excited for Saturday and hopes that the auction will fill the 500 seats at Minna Gallery.

“This should attract a very diverse group [of people],” said Rauschuber. “There will be home-grown Mission artists, too.”

Barry McGee, also known as Twist and who began as a graffiti artist, has donated a piece. Well-known San Francisco artist Clare Rojas has too. Works from over 50 artists were donated to the cause.

The MC will be Jane Kim, SFPO’s Board President. The lineup includes an exclusive screening of “4 Real Bayview,” a work in progress by filmmaker Marcus Darkraven. A reading by San Francisco Poet Laureate Jack Hirschman, who has been labeled “America’s most important living poet,” will also take place. There will be live music and a DJ for the after party.

The suggested donation is $10 to $20. Doors open at 7:30 at Minna Gallery located at 111 Minna. Advance tickets are available at www.ticketweb.com or visit www.sfpeople.org for additional information.

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