Art with a Heart

Sense of Gratitude

Twenty-seven artists, 27 pieces of art, 27 years: Works of Heart returns this month, with some changes, after a six-year hiatus. The art auction is revamping its format, moving to a new venue and scaling down in size, but still has the same goal of benefiting the Alliance of AIDS Services – Carolina (AAS-C). Works of Heart not only raises funds for the services and education that AAS-C provides, but also showcases the strong community of local artists, some of whom have donated to the auction every year since its beginning.

Preview some of the pieces that will be auctioned below, and hear what the artists have to say about their work and why they contribute to Works of Heart.

Kinston Swamp

Kinston Swamp by Lori White

As an environmentalist, Lori White is inspired by the natural world, and it shows in her art. Following a career in environmental science, White started to actively paint again in 2002 and got involved with Works of Heart soon after. This year, she is donating her painting Kinston Swamp, based on an area she stumbled upon along the Neuse River.

“I’ve donated foggy, surreal paintings to Works of Heart before, and this kind of fits in with that genre,” White says. “Using the word ‘swamp’ as a metaphor for something bad is not good because swamps are really essential for habitat and biological diversity. They get a bad rap and don’t deserve it.”

Sense of Gratitude by Grace Li Wang

“Gratified and blissful” are the emotions Grace Li Wang felt as she created Sense of Gratitude, her vibrant submission to this year’s Works of Heart and part of her art book, Radiance in Nature. “I just feel that radiance is what we’re about as humankind,” Wang says. “We receive the sun’s radiance as we go through life.”

Wang has participated in Works of Heart for over a dozen years, donating every year since she first discovered the auction. “Works of Heart is all local, so that makes it hard to do from scratch every time,” Wang says. “It’s a labor of love for a great cause and a great way for the artists to get exposure.”

Daybreak

Daybreak by Yuko Nogami Taylor

For Yuko Taylor’s first year as a Works of Heart contributor, she is donating Daybreak, a piece that was recently exhibited in the residence of the Japanese Chair of the World Bank in Washington, D.C. Taylor says she is excited to be part of an auction that is supported by, and supportive of, local artists.

“As it is important for me to be connected with locals and communities,
I pick three strong art contributions for great causes every year,” Taylor says. “HIV/AIDS relief has been something I wanted to support. Personally, I want the subtle strength and elegance of this work to speak strongly to our humanity and for this cause.”