Art by Choice

 In Culture, Interviews


On Nov. 16 at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, friendsbychoice held its fourth annual ChoiceArt fundraising event, auctioning off 47 remarkable paintings by local artists in support of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis region and Southwest Missouri. Selection of the pieces included in the auction was juried for the first time this year, narrowing down more than 60 submissions to the best 47. Jurors included Duane Reed of Duane Reed Gallery, Alicia LaChance of Hoffman LaChance Contemporary and Robin Hirsch of Art Saint Louis. ALIVE caught up with curator Deanna Chafin before the event.

ALIVE: How did you get involved in ChoiceArt?
Deanna Chafin: Years ago, I met Tom Barry and Elizabeth Tucker of friendsbychoice and mentioned I was an artist and a supporter. Tom called me a year later saying that they wanted to get together an art event to raise funds for Planned Parenthood. In St. Louis, the art community is pretty tight-knit, so I began asking artists I knew if they would donate a piece to the cause. Todd Vilmer was an art collector, so he started asking people he had collected from if they would be willing to donate as well. That first year we were at Concrete Ocean Art Gallery and drew about 100 people.

ALIVE: How has it grown over the years?
DC: As more people heard of it and began coming forward, we started getting more and more entries each year. We outgrew the Concrete Ocean space and moved to CAM last year. It got so big that people were coming forward the day of the event to donate art. We raised $25,000 last year, and are hoping to exceed that this year. Because our space for the event is limited, we had to limit what we were including and decided to have a jury help us pare it down this time.

ALIVE: Who are some of the artists you are excited to have involved this year?
DC: Aunia Kahn is our honorary chair. She was selected based on her work and her past involvement with ChoiceArt. She has been one of our favorite people who have supported us in the past and really gotten behind the mission. David Langley is another who has been involved consistently—he had an Elizabeth Taylor piece a few years ago, and last year his “Orphan Annie” piece was a hit. Jane Linders has a piece this year called “I Miss Polaroid” that I love. And we’re excited to have a few new artists this year, like Muriel Eulich.



Jane Linders I Miss Polaroid


Photo credit: Courtesy of Planned Parenthood

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