The Pico Youth and Family Center (PYFC), a youth-centered non-profit organization located at 715 Pico Blvd., will host its annual fundraiser at Santa Monica’s Jeanie Madsen Gallery this Saturday, Feb. 7.
The sixth annual Arts for Hearts fundraiser will feature the works of 30 artists, live jazz, tequila tasting, and free valet parking.
Out of the 30 artists – which include both the youthful and the established – five of them attend the PYFC.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, all of the participants individually crafted their artwork on a heart to be sold during a silent auction and ultimately benefit at-risk youth at the center.
According to some of the PYFC youth who are taking part in this year’s event, Arts for Hearts seems to be a win-win situation for all parties involved. Not only do the students themselves volunteer to paint a piece, they are able to incorporate a bit of the ongoing Valentine’s Day theme as well.
“I’ve always loved art, ever since I was a kid,” 20-year-old Alyssa said.
As for her piece of art, Alyssa was able to channel an everyday form of social media as a source of inspiration, as she initially formed the concept of her art by looking at a picture on Instagram, but “it looked like it was missing something.”
The result is a meticulously and symmetrically painted piece of art of a man proposing to a woman on a bridge.
Another participating PYFC artist, 23-year-old Ricky, also took a romantic route, as his painting of a white tiger was based on his fiancé’s favorite animal.
“I’ve done the Arts for Hearts fundraiser ever since it all started six years ago,” Ricky said. “It’s pretty crazy to see how much my techniques, my brush strokes, and my drawing skills in general have developed over the years.”
Ricky said that for the last few years, the minimum bid for his paintings has been priced at $50.
As an organization committed to combating youth violence by providing a variety of services and staff support, the PYFC aims to offer case management, counseling, tutoring, job readiness training, and music/art/computer training to at-risk youth aged 16-24.
It is through these creative programs that the PYFC takes efforts to “instill hope in the youth by engaging them in creating solutions to their community’s problems,” according to the PYFC mission statement.
Jeanie Madsen Gallery is located at 1431 Ocean Ave.
For more information, call 310.396.7101 or visit picoyouth.org.