Art Avenue Auction Raises $50,000 for Second Heart Homes, SRQ Magazine

Art was an avenue for expression and compassion recently in Sarasota. An auction at Art Avenue helped generate awareness about the link between mental health and homelessness, and raised funds for housing and serving homeless people. Paul Sykes of Art Avenue hosted a reception and auction this past month that generated $50,000 for Second Heart Homes, a Sarasota-based nonprofit that provides permanent homes for 36 formerly homeless men and women. Second Heart Homes offers clients housing, love and supportive services that promote mental health, sobriety, dignity and personal development. The Art Avenue event featured a painting by Sarasota artist Vicki Chelf, whose “Women of Resistance” series honors women, including those who contributed to the Resistance during World War II. The piece, Second Heart Angel, honored Megan Howell, founder and director of Second Heart Homes, who resists the notion that homeless people are incapable of changing their lives. Proceeds from Chelf’s work and other pieces – including art by Second Heart Homes client Nicholas Rentschler – will help the nonprofit reduce the impacts of homelessness.

Shown: Local artist Vicki Chelf, gallery owner Paul Sykes and Second Heart Homes founder Megan Howell stand next to Second Heart Angel, the Chelf piece de resistance painting honoring Howell as part of her Woman of Resistance series.