Celebrating professional artists and their work funding visual and performing arts education for youth

Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation is hosting a Virtual Art Auction, showcasing fine art by favorite local artists, from July 24 to Aug. 2 to help bridge a funding gap of $46,000 in this year’s programming.

“Artists are the best at thinking outside the box to find a solution to a problem. Our students are learning those lessons as well,” said Emily Jagger, PRYAF Director of Development. “Why not celebrate our local artists for what they do and what they can teach our students in the process?”

PRYAF, a popular youth arts nonprofit center, was forced March 13 to temporarily close its doors to protect students, families, and staff from the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Nearly 400 students (ages 5-18 years old) were left waiting for the return of their favorite, after school classes in art, theater, music, dance and creative enrichment.

PRYAF instructors and leaders quickly responded by producing a “Virtual Studio” series of 30, visual and performing arts classes designed to keep students connected and creating art from home during the quarantine.

PRYAF has always relied on the generosity of the community to keep its doors open. This year, due to the virus, they were forced to cancel all fundraising events and student performances for the foreseeable future.

Other local events that typically benefit PRYAF have been canceled, leaving the Center with a severe financial shortage and many donors wishing to help.

“The Art Community has always been behind PRYAF from the beginning when artist and philanthropist Donna Berg gathered community leaders for a common goal, to serve our youth. We know that we have many friends in the Art Community that want to help — those that make art and those that enjoy collecting it. We hope the two will come together to stand with our young artists who need their support,” said Jagger.

The Virtual Arts Auction is a non-themed, online exhibition representing a wide range of artistic expression in all media. All donating artists will be celebrated on a professional platform and PRYAF will choose a minimum of three pieces to feature during the auction. Artists will donate at least 50 percent of the final sale price to PRYAF and may be asked to speak on behalf of their work and participation in the exhibit. There are many opportunities to celebrate and cross-promote artists.

Submissions must be received by 5 p.m. on July 15.

To donate, contact Ashley Jones, PRYAF Development Coordinator, at ashley@pryaf.org or call 805-238-5825.

Exhibition Timeline

• July 15: Submission deadline via email, ashley@pryaf.org

• July 24: Virtual Art Auction begins at 7 a.m., online

• Aug. 2: Virtual Art Auction ends at 8 p.m.

For information regarding donating, volunteering, attending performances, fundraisers, or classes, contact the PRYAF office at 805-238-5825 or visit pryaf.org.

Getting through this together, Paso Robles