"For me, I get to throw a party and invite all my friends," says Carla Stone. "It's become a personal thing. Every year I think nobody's going to come, and then the night of the event comes, and there's 400 people."
Stone, exhibitions coordinator at Sonoma State University, is talking about Art from the Heart, SSU's annual silent auction benefiting its University Art Gallery. Now in its 27th year, the event features original work in all media from more than 130 different artists from Sonoma County and the United States.
Artists include conceptual artist and sculptor Ray Beldner, who uses materials ranging from internet porn to clothing to create his pieces; Gulf War vet Ehren Tool, who has made and given away over 4,000 clay cups covered with war imagery; and Guggenheim Fellowship-anointed Mike Henderson, who is also a blues musician and has released several albums.
Stone also emphasizes that price shouldn't deter people from coming. "It is suggested donation $30, but it's whatever you can pay."
Silent auction items include bottles of wine, restaurant gift certificates, massages and theater and museum tickets. The auction's proceeds benefit the gallery's lectures and exhibitions, which have included "Art from the Handcar Regatta" and last winter's portrait series that contained pieces by Andy Warhol, Kehinde Wiley and digital imaging innovators Aziz & Cucher.
Art From the Heart takes place on Saturday, Feb. 12, at the University Art Gallery. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park.