It was a great pleasure to have attended Casey House‘s annual Art with Heart reception and live art auction on Tuesday, October 7, 2014. For over two decades, Art with Heart has raised over $5.5 million for Casey House, a specialty HIV/AIDS hospital that provides compassionate healthcare and other outstanding programming, such as providing rehabilitative care and sending a team of registered nurses and social workers to housebound clients. The funds raised from this high-end art auction will be directed to Casey House, where they will continue to bring hope and healing to the thousands of people who are living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.

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The Carlu was the perfect venue for Art with Heart. With its Art Deco-style interior and spacious rooms, it accommodated the hundreds of invited guests, as well as the food stations that lined the reception area.

Catering was provided by Daniel et Daniel and the food was sublime! The dishes served by the food stations included ricotta ravioli with beet and walnut pesto in gorgonzola cream and chicken roulade with kale and white bean puree.

Casey House Art With Heart 2014-2

The Interior of The Sky Room was like walking into an upscale art gallery. The walls were covered with an eclectic mix of contemporary artwork, from oil paintings to photography and sculpture. The Silent Auction was also in full swing that evening, which featured prizes such as weekend getaway for four in the Niagara region and a Newport chronograph watch from The Canadian Watch Factory. In the reception area, large colourful quilts hung from the ceiling. These quilts were created to commemorate the clients and residents of Casey House who have unfortunately passed away since the hospital’s inception.

The Casey House Rebuilding Lives Capital Campaign had a station that featured an architectural model and floor plans of the new Casey House building that will begin construction in 2015. With this construction, the Casey House will be able to expand and improve upon their facilities to accommodate the rapidly growing number of clients affected by HIV/AIDS and introduce the new Day Health Program.

The auction itself was the liveliest portion of the evening. Stephen Ranger and Perry Tung were fantastic as the evening’s auctioneers as they cracked jokes with the guests and even ignited fiery bidding wars amongst the art pieces. Out of all of the eighty-five pieces that were up for bidding in the auction, only one of the pieces was passed off.Casey House Art With Heart 2014-31

Successful pieces included Ken Nichol’s obsessive conceptual piece entitled, “Fuck Off 6352 Times”; Virginia Mak’s chromogenic print entitled, “Character Reference 09”; and “Composition (People in Landscape)” by Shuvinai Ashoona. Shelley Adler’s oil painting entitled, “Burnt Sienna,” sold for $7500, almost double the estimated price of $4000.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Shelley when asked how she felt about having her painting sold for over the estimated price. She then continued, “It was a new painting made for the auction. They’ve shown an ongoing and enduring respect towards my work and it’s a cause that I’ve always wanted to support.”

The evening concluded with speeches from Gillian Stacey, the Chair of the Board of Directors for Casey House, who graciously thanked the team of volunteers for their efforts and commitment to the cause, TD Bank for being the presenting sponsors for the evening, and the committee members for their phenomenal support.

About Casey House

Casey House is a specialty HIV/AIDS hospice in Toronto that offers community programs such as home nursing care and outreach. Founded in 1988, it was the first freestanding HIV/AIDS facility in Canada. Their mission is to bring these critically needed programs and services to the ever-growing number of people living with HIV/AIDS in their community. To learn more about Casey House and their other fundraising efforts, please visit their official website, www.caseyhouse.com.

(photo credit: Glenn Bell)

Casey House Art with Heart 2014