If your Valentine’s Day was a dud, you have a chance to make it up Thursday when the Pico Youth and Family Center (PYFC) hosts its eighth annual “Art for Hearts” fundraiser at Bergamot Station.
More than 75 artists participated in this year’s fundraiser by painting, tiling or even hacking apart wooden hearts that will be sold at an auction Thursday night.
“They do their magic on the hearts and then we auction off the artwork,” Oscar de la Torre said in an interview with the Daily Press. “It’s really nice because it’s about love, it’s about unity and it’s about peace.”
Last year, PYFC raised about $4,000 from the heart auction alone. Tickets to the event cost $25 for individuals or $40 for couples and can be purchased online (www.picoyouth.org). The ticket includes live music by Mayaztek, free tequila tasting, free wine tasting and appetizers. Tacos will be available for purchase. There will be a collection of classic low-riders showcased at the event as well.
In addition to the free booze and tacos, actor and director Cheech Marin will be a guest at the event, according to de la Torre. The iconic actor will be available to take selfies and talk about Chicano art.
“He’s a huge Chicano art collector,” de la Torre said. “He has one of the most extensive exhibits of Chicano art in the world.”
Marin also has a memoir coming out next month, Cheech is not my real name…but don’t call me Chong.
“All the money raised keeps the center open for the underserved youth of our community,” de la Torre said.
PYFC is a community center on Pico Boulevard that provides after-school and creative space for high school students in Santa Monica. The center provides a multitude of programs, including employment opportunities, cooking classes, internship connections and a professional recording studio.
The Art for Hearts event is one of several fundraisers throughout the year that help keep the center open and free for young people with a robust programming schedule.
“We have a lot of fun and we love giving up and coming artists a chance to exhibit their artwork at Bergamot Station,” de la Torre said.
Tickets are still available for the event. Art will be showcased and auctioned off inside the Robert Berman Gallery at Bergamot Station from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23.