Art auction to highlight CY’s eclectic scene

Featured artwork by Lisa Lumb will be available at this year's Art for Art's Sake Auction. See the interview with Lisa Lumb in this month's LampLighter.

By David Royer

Get ready for some local color.

The annual Art for Art’s Sake Auction will hit Young Avenue Deli from 6 to 9:30 p.m. June 23. Tickets are $15 for CYCA members and $20 for non-members and are available online at or at the door. Credit cards will be accepted this year.

Admission includes food, drink, some alcohol and bidding rights for both the live and silent auctions. Besides the signature artwork, the event will feature pottery, jewelry, tickets to area attractions and restaurant gift certificates.

Proceeds benefit art projects in Cooper-Young, including the new murals on McLean and Barksdale and maintenance of the trestle art, which costs more than $4,000 annually and sometimes much more.

Last year the auction raised more than $13,000 and organizers — six CYCA committee members and a host of volunteers — hope to top that this year. Already, in-kind donations and auction item donations are up this year over last, said committee chairwoman April Boleware.

“People seem to be more generous this year,” Boleware said.

Artists featured in the live auction include Lisa Lumb, Nick Canterucci, Paul Clarke, Karen Capps, Guillermo Umbria and more. Local radio and newspaper personality Dennis Phillipi will man the mic as auctioneer.

Artists can donate their work to the auction right up until the day of the event, and organizer Debbie Sowell said if last year was any indication, more pieces could be added even as the auction begins. Artists who donate their work get free admission.

Many pieces featured in the live auction will be on display at Otherlands Coffee and Gifts, 641 S. Cooper St., beginning with a free artist’s reception from 4-6 p.m. June 3. Fork It Over Catering will provide food. The public is invited to the reception.

This year marked a turning point for the auction as several new committee members took over operations. The traditional April auction date was moved to June, giving the new members more time to solicit donations and plan the event.

But the quality of the art and the community atmosphere remain unchanged.

“You’re still gonna get the true Cooper-Young art you’re used to,” Sowell said.

Author: LampLighter

The voice of Cooper-Young, a vibrant, diverse neighborhood to live, work and play, in the heart of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee.

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