Embrace the Future Gala and Art Auction

11:14 PMMelanie Woodroffe

{Beth Daughter}

“In recent years, Clarkson has become a haven for families fleeing from war, famine, poverty and disease. Many of those families need our help as they work to rebuild their lives here in the U.S.,” said the Clarkston Community Center executive director Cindy Bowdon. “We are honored that our volunteer Mark Karelson, owner and curator of Mason Fine Art, has assembled a wideranging collection of fine art and is hosting our event. Art and craft prices will start at less than $100.” 

Mason Fine Art and Events in Midtown will host “Embrace the Future,” a gala and art auction to benefit the Clarkson Community Center (CCC), Friday - Saturday, July 14-15. Artists from across Atlanta and around the world contributed works for silent and live auctions of fine art painting, photography, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry and mixed-media works, along with handmade folk art and crafts that include décor, wearables and accessories. 

Embrace the Future: A Gala and Art Auction,” kicks off Friday, July 14 from 6 - 9 p.m., followed by a live auction of over 300 works Saturday, July 15 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Both will take place at Mason Fine Art and Events in Midtown, 415 Plasters Ave., Atlanta, GA 30324. The event will exhibit a variety of artworks by many internationally-known artists with strong Georgia connections, including photographer Shine Huang, a Chinese national and recent graduate of SCAD’s MFA program whose art graces the event poster. Noted Atlanta photographer Lucinda Bunnen contributed a series of portraits taken of participants at ESOL (English as a second language) classes for refugees. 

Expect a lively evening with music and dance performances by traditional African dance company Uhuru dancers and a variety of ethnic foods encompassing Ethiopian, Syrian, Caribbean, Senegalese and Venezuelan cuisines. Additionally, keynoter Heval Kelli, M.D., Cardiology Fellow at Emory University School of Medicine, will speak about his journey from Syrian refugee to Emory doctor. Tickets to the gala on Friday are $25 per person, or $40 for two; there will be a cash bar. 

American President of the World Craft Council, UNESCO, curated the collection of international craft and folk art available for sale. A small representation of folk and outsider art is also included. In addition to the donated artworks for this charity event, a portion of the Mason Fine Art’s existing collection will be available for silent auction bidding during the Friday night Gala. Gala attendees may make early bids during the evening of July 14 for the artworks to be featured in the Saturday auction event. “Art can be a way to express thoughts and feelings that are difficult to verbalize. 

Through VSA Arts of Georgia, we created “Art as a Second Language Program,” an art project for a group of senior citizens in Clarkston including refugees and longtime residents at the Clarkston Community Center. After witnessing the collaboration and solace they experience from creating art together, I reached out to a number of artists for this event,” said Karelson. “I want to thank Pilgrims Pride Corporation, Stop & Save Group LLC and Asal Tax and Travel for helping us make this fundraiser possible.” Tickets for the Friday evening event can be purchased here. 

The Saturday auction is free and open to public. On Saturday, July 15, the auction will be held beginning at 11 a.m. (preview at 10 a.m.) at Mason Fine Art. Patrons also may come to the gallery at any time during normal hours before the auction to preview and leave absentee bids. 

The works are already on display. Online bidding is available here. For more information about this event, please visit here. About Clarkston Community Center The Clarkston Community Center offers programs for children, teens, adults and seniors, centered around art, recreation and community building. The Center serves over 40,000 individuals annually, primarily from Clarkston and greater DeKalb County, Ga., many of whom have immigrated to the United States or are newly-arrived refugees. 

About Mason Fine Art and Events Nestled conveniently between Buckhead and Midtown, Mason Fine Art and Events is a unique 21,000 square foot fine art gallery and special event venue. The gallery specializes in contemporary painting, sculpture and photography. It’s open to the public Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturdays from noon – 5 p.m. 

The building’s flexible, open floor plan makes it an ideal location for special events of all types and sizes, including corporate events, weddings, charity galas, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, auctions, fashion shows and holiday parties.

MEDIA CONTACT: 
Karin Koser, 404-276-6027, karin@kpkco.com 
Solyee Kim, 678-622-1854, solyee@kpkco.com 
Mark Karelson, 404-879-1500, mark@masonfineartandevents.com 

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