5X7 Splurge

Party Kicks Off Austin’s Most Artfully Hip Gala

By Rob Giardinelli 
Photography By Brian Fitzsimmons

It’s an event that draws several hundred of Austin’s most avid contemporary art collectors… combining one-of-a-kind art with a hint of mystery. The 13th annual 5X7 gala, benefitting the exhibition and educational programs of AMOA/Arthouse, was kicked into high gear with its SPLURGE party where attendees received a sneak peak of the art, as well as a chance for one of the 1,000-plus 5X7 inch paintings donated by over 650 established and emerging artists from Texas and beyond. Now that’s some contemporary art dealing.

The event, held at the recently redesigned AMOA/Arthouse Gallery and sponsored by Jones Villalta Asset Management, became ground zero for the chic and fabulous, who mingled while enjoying live music, sipping Cinco vodka cocktails, Shiner beer and wine of courtesy of Pedernales Cellars… plus sampling the tastings of some of Austin’s finest dining establishments including Ranch 616, Sugar Pop, Sugar Tooth Bakery and Trace.

The best part of 5X7?  It is, of course, the mystery of not knowing whom the artist is that created the 5X7 art canvas for purchase. This is what draws and fuels friendly competition among the artfully inclined bidders that continually “eye” their desired art. Until 8:30, that is, when the MC for the nights festivities, Carla McDonald, blew the whistle to kick off the buying spree which consisted of attendees taking the number adjoining their desired painting for purchase.

We love that the canvases stay on display for weeks so that the public can continue to enjoy them before they go home with the winner. As the evening wound down, those fortunate enough to walk away with their desired painting enjoyed the festive atmosphere and no doubt began to ponder what purchases would be in store for them to “eye” next year.


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