By Sarah Kuper
On June 11, Studio by the Tracks will present its 28th Art from the Heart event benefiting arts programming for adults with autism spectrum disorders and emotionally conflicted children.
In past years, the art auction has been held at B&A Warehouse near Railroad Park. But Executive Director Suzanne Boozer said the event needed a change of
venue for an exciting reason.
“We just outgrew that space. We see more people come every year,” she said, “Once they come, they come back again and again.”
Art from the Heart will now be at Haven, an event space in the Lakeview District.
Boozer said Haven will provide more parking and opportunities to expand.
As always, the event will showcase and auction artwork donated from area artists as well as artists from the Studio by the Tracks.
In addition to the location change, new this year will be an exclusive patron’s pre-party and “buy now” and “cash ‘n’ carry” options.
“We added these options because people may not be able to stay until the very end of the evening when winners are notified,” Boozer said, “This way people can skip the auction and get the piece they want right away.”
That, she said, is what makes the patron pre-party opportunity exciting.
Tickets for the pre-party include admission one hour early, plus special drinks, food and live music. Art lovers get a first look at the art and can snatch up pieces they love without taking a chance on the auction.
More than 200 artists have donated works to the auction, in addition to the studio artists. Some of the local artists have donated pieces for more than 20 years. Boozer said some of them are well known to area art lovers, but there are newcomers as well.
“I know there are collectors who will come and see pieces they have to have,” Boozer said.
Established in 1989, Studio by the Tracks is in Irondale but serves the greater Birmingham community by providing free art studio programs.
Adults with autism spectrum disorders and children in difficult circumstances engage their artistic side by taking classes in drawing, painting and mixed media art.
The studio aims to fill a particular need. While there are many programs geared toward helping school-aged children on the spectrum, organizers at Studio by the Tracks realized adults needed an avenue to express themselves in a creative, therapeutic way.
Creating art at Studio by the Tracks can also be a source of income. Artists receive 60 percent of the sale of one of their pieces. The rest of the proceeds go toward art materials and marketing.
About 40 adults use the studio, and their works are for sale through the studio’s website year-round. A gallery featuring more than 30 pieces from the studio also opened inside the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Mountain Brook in February.
To learn more about Art from the Heart and Studio by the Tracks, visit studiobythetracks.org.