Making the Art for Arts Sake Auction happen

What makes Cooper-Young so special? There are many potential answers to this question, but if you asked around you’d hear the word “art” pretty frequently. Cooper-Young loves art, artists and art lovers, and every year we celebrate and support our signature piece of public art at the Art for Art’s Sake Auction.

The Cooper Street trestle art was funded by the very first Art for Art’s Sake Auction. After the project was dedicated in 2000, the subsequent auctions were continued every year to pay for the utilities, insurance, and maintenance of the trestle art as well as to fund other community art projects and beautification efforts. This year’s auction aims to do all that along with something bigger: the “greening” of the trestle.

Your community association would like to raise enough money to retrofit the trestle with solar panels and LED bulbs, as imagined by resident Daniel Atlas, to make the trestle art as environmentally friendly as possible. Your support of this project is critical, so come to the auction and improve the hipness of your personal environs by bidding on local art while enjoying the company of your neighbors and fellow art lovers. To sweeten the deal, members of the Cooper-Young Community Association get a $5 discount on auction tickets.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Art for Art’s Sake Auction, we interviewed June Hurt, Art Auction Committee chairperson and CYCA president.  As a bit of background, June bought her Cooper-Young home in 2000 and started volunteering at CYCA events soon thereafter because of what she has called “the infectious community enthusiasm of my neighbors Beverly and Edward Greene.” In fact, it was Edward who submitted her name to the CYCA as a potential board member in 2008, and she began her tenure in January 2009. She built rewarding working relationships with other neighborhood associations while researching sinkhole and flooding issues and later took over as CYCA vice president and membership chairperson.

While June’s initial interest was in joining the Communications Committee chaired by then-director Emily Bishop and ultimately taking the helm when Emily signaled she was preparing for a break, her long-range plans changed when CYCA President John Kinsey relocated out of state leaving June to complete the term as president.

June describes herself as “a hands-on president.” She responds to an impressive number of emails about CYCA issues on a daily basis and spends a lot of time networking with other community and city leaders on a variety of issues that affect our neighborhood. She also describes herself as “an ambassador and promoter of all things Cooper-Young.”

In addition to her responsibilities as president, she is a membership sponsor who provides free notary services to CYCA members, and she chairs the committee that plans and presents the Art Auction — and she does all of this on a volunteer basis.

June is passionate about the project to retrofit the trestle with solar panels, so she is particularly excited to organize and present this year’s auction. Her plans for the auction include a “shift [of] focus back to honoring our eclectic and talented artist community.” But June doesn’t do this alone. In fact, it is her first year chairing the committee, and she is relying on other experienced volunteers to remind her of everything that must be done.

In addition to all the volunteer work done in advance, many volunteers are needed on the day of the auction to make the event happen. For those interested, volunteer signup will happen a few weeks before the auction.

“We will need volunteers to do things like working the registration table, setting up the silent auction tables and refreshments, monitoring tables during the event, cleaning up after the event, and whatever I’ve forgotten offhand,” June said. “You can call the office at 272-2922 or email to let us know that you are interested in volunteering. You should get involved with volunteering at the auction if you want to support public art in Cooper-Young and don’t have as much money to donate. Otherwise, buy a ticket and come buy some awesome stuff at the auction, because we need the money to make these wonderful public art projects come to life!”

The Art for Art’s Sake Auction will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 13 at Young Avenue Deli.  The Artists’ Reception will be held on March 28 at Otherlands from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Join Young Avenue Deli and Otherlands — both of which are also business sponsors of CYCA membership benefits — in their support of the art auction and the initiative to “green” the trestle.  You’ll be reminded of not just one but of many things that makes Cooper-Young so unique: great neighbors, art appreciation, locally owned businesses, environmental awareness, a sense of community. And if you are not a CYCA member, join today by visiting us at, calling our community director at 272-2922, stopping by our offices at 2298 Young Ave., or mailing in the form from this paper. You’ll get a $5 discount for your auction tickets as well as many other great discounts all year, and you’ll see why we say, “Life is good — and green! — in Cooper-Young!”

– By Renee Massey

Author: LampLighter

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

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>