Hospitality House art auction to be held Thursday


With just the stroke of a brush, one person said he is learning some new techniques in painting. The spin of a wheel, another man is gaining inspiration to try crafting something he's never done before. For people have had some tough times, the Community Arts Program of Hospitality House is a refuge and a new beginning.

"When the streets got the better of me, I came here. They were sort of like pillars for me," said artist John Rhodes.

"It turned out to be a very productive thing. I sold my first painting here at the gallery with the help of the gallery staff. So that was real encouraging," said artist Gregg McKenna.

Brad Painter is an artist who lost his art and his computer. He said, "I was brutally beaten and robbed in the city."

They took it all. But Painter got a chance to start over here.

"It helped me heal from injuries, mentally and physically," said Painter.

That's something the center has always done.

"Knowing what people are going through, the duress they're going through, the frustration being in a line all day long, being denied services here and there, they can still come in here and make something beautiful," said art program manager Ivan Vera.

"You're not coming in crisis, you're not in need of something to help you, it's really just about creating art work," said development director Daniel Hlad.

It's free. But it takes money to keep the programs going for the artists.

Their works and pieces by other artists are being hung right now in preparation for the big auction on Thursday night. The 26th annual auction is a benefit for the community arts program. I'll be the chairman at the Performance Art Institute on Sutter Street. What Hospitality House offers is not just about art. It is about respect and it is life changing.

"Unbelievable transformations…people go from sitting in the corner and being afraid and never talking, to being the stars here," said ceramics instructor Amanda Sage.

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