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‘Anything But Paper Prayers (The Annual Aids Benefit)’ at Barbara Krakow Gallery, ‘Icons + Altars’ at the New Art Center, ‘Annual Holiday Sale’ at Massart
By EVAN J. GARZA  |  November 21, 2008

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Heidi Dauphin, Making a Point (2008)

“Anything But Paper Prayers (The Annual Aids Benefit)” at Barbara Krakow Gallery, 10 Newbury St, Boston | November 29–December 18 | 617.262.4490

“Icons + Altars” at New Art Center, 61 Washington Park, Newton | Through December 14 | 617.964.3424

"The Annual Holiday Sale” at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, 621 Huntington Ave, Boston | December 1-6 | 617.879.7710
Next week is Thanksgiving, which means that the holiday shopping season will soon be as unavoidable as thermal underwear and black snow. If you harbor a shred of contempt for the retail industry, you’d be doing yourself (and a sweater-folding employee) a favor by avoiding the annual mind fuck that is Black Friday. The following fall fundraisers not only offer a much less chaotic shopping experience, they also encourage the purchase of far cooler gifts: works of art. (I can’t speak for everyone, but I’d take a painting over a snowflake sweater any day of the week.)

First on the list is Barbara Krakow Gallery, which will open its annual AIDS benefit exhibition, “ANYTHING BUT PAPER PRAYERS,” November 29 in celebration of World AIDS Day (December 1). Works by more than 70 artists will be on view, each one available for a donation of $350 to either the African AIDS Initiative based out of Harvard University or the Boston Pediatric/Family AIDS Project at the Dimock Center in Roxbury. Artists from the gallery’s roster — Michael Beatty, Peter Downsbrough, Sally B. Moore, Flora Natapoff, and more — will share the walls with a slew of other local artists.

Not to be outdone, the New Art Center in Newton has mounted its 15th annual benefit event, “ICONS + ALTARS,” a collection of works by more than 100 local and regional artists invited to create art inspired by personal, cultural, social, or spiritual iconography. Each exhibited work is available for sale through the purchase of a ticket, which is placed in a drawing that takes place at the closing reception, on December 14. The last night of the show will also be marked by a Special Auction of work by long-time “Icons + Altars” artists Stephanie Chubbuck, Heid Dauphin, Bonnie Mineo, and Jessica Straus to celebrate the benefit’s 15-year history. Each ticket will set you back $250; proceeds benefit the NAC’s arts education and exhibition programming.

Bragging rights for the most artists in a single benefit exhibition, however, go to “MASSART’S ANNUAL HOLIDAY SALE,” a week-long show featuring an astounding 150 MassArt alumni and students. Continuing a holiday tradition that began with the first student scholarship fundraising show in 1983, artists working in paintings, photography, sculpture, and prints will share the space with those creating glass, ceramics, jewelry, and other craft mediums.

With such a diverse assortment of work made in almost as many media as there are featured artists, these benefit exhibitions offer a great opportunity to help others while checking off names on your shopping list. The real joy, however, may be found in the knowledge that you won't have to fight your way to a cash register amid a sea of crying babies and peppermint lattes.

  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Culture and Lifestyle, Health and Fitness, Holidays,  More more >
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