ArtSpan Art Show auctioneers eager for high bids 

Going once, going twice ... sold to the gentleman in the corner!

On Saturday, ArtSpan — a San Francisco nonprofit group dedicated to promoting visual arts through education and community programs — holds its annual benefit auction.

More than 170 donated pieces of artwork by local emerging and established artists will be for sale.

The show is also a juried event, with winners in abstract, figurative, fine craft, sculpture and photography categories selected by Justin Hoover, director of SOMArts, a San Francisco group that, like ArtSpan, fosters community art.

Jennifer Mullen, ArtSpan program and event director, is excited about this year’s auction not only because proceeds go to a great cause, but because artworks for sale represent a wide diversity of Bay Area artists.

“Bidding starts at one-third of the retail value, and with a little help from the open bar, everyone will find a new favorite artist and artwork at an affordable price while supporting ArtSpan’s programs Art for City Youth and San Francisco Open Studios,” Mullen says.

Among ArtSpan’s most high-profile projects is Open Studios, in which hundreds of local artists and designers open their studios to the public each October. The event, held over five weekends in the fall, provides a perfect opportunity for potential art patrons — including those who find galleries intimidating — to meet artists on their own turf and find out how the artistic process works.

Saturday’s gathering, hosted by Risley Sams and featuring drinks and hors d’oeuvres, allows visitors the chance to meet and support participating artists as well as have fun. In addition to the live auction, silent bidding also is part of the program.

The Art for City Youth program, Another auction beneficiary, places artists into underserved elementary schools, where they teach youngsters the importance of creativity.


ArtSpan Art Show and Auction

Where: SOMArts Bay Gallery, 934 Brannan St., San Francisco
When: 6:45 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday; auction at 8:15 p.m.
Tickets: $25 to $75
Contact: (415) 861-9838,
Note: A VIP reception begins at 6 p.m.

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