Nashville CARES: Avant Garde Masquerade (Fundraiser-Charity)

“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”

– Oscar Wilde

Live Event Painting Fundraising events may have to be my favorite kind of event to paint –

1) I get to help non-profits raise money for a good cause!

2) Auctioning off the painting at the end of the night and watching the audience go into a bidding war is so fun and exciting!

3) They all have different themes that are interesting and truly creative!

Recently I did a live painting for Nashville CARES. The organization promotes and participates in a comprehensive and compassionate response to HIV/AIDS in Middle Tennessee. They educate the community for increased understanding and prevention of HIV transmission, advocate for responsible public policy and provide services that improve the quality of life for people with HIV/AIDS and their families.

This painting was done for their 2014 Avant Garde Masquerade. In true New Orleans style grandeur it was complete with fantasy masks, imaginative costumes and beautiful décor. Visual illusions gave a magical bent to the fundraising pageantry.

This particular event highlighted intrigue and idea, inside the power of costuming masks. It is a great metaphor, letting go and holding in, to celebrate as masks can be ugly and beautiful or both.

Masks can embellish the good, create a mystery, play with layers, and decorate the norm. Or they can hide scars, distant us from the truth and leave us untouched, feeling alone. Embracing the ugly is what gives the beauty more depth. Both play a part in the ultimate story – the breath, the living and the events.

These three things are what I try to incorporate in to my paintings. They are full of layers. This painting included various elements:

  • The blue-haired, orange dress wearing opera singer
  • The stage’s pink curtain backdrop
  • The room’s black tables, white curtains and black ribbons
  • The tables’ feather centerpieces
  • Three women dressed in vintage, white formal dresses with wigs
  • An intricate golden chandelier
  • Audience members
  • The balcony

The evening culminated with a live auction where my painting was the most successful item to be bid on helping to raise a lot of money for a very worthy cause. Now that is something to celebrate!

Peace, love, surprises & disguises,



For more information please go to: