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Peace of Triune Art Auction funds programs that lift people up

What began as an unassuming art sale in the church dining hall has grown into a much-anticipated Upstate fundraising auction benefitting Triune Mercy Center in Greenville, SC.

“We started an art sale for a very practical reason,” said Triune Executive Director and Senior Pastor Deb Richardson-Moore. “Art from our art room was piling up everywhere and taking up a lot of space. That first sale was to start at 6:30 and people started streaming in by six. By 7:30, the place had been picked clean with nothing left but empty nails and hooks on the walls.”

The Peace of Triune Art Auction looks a bit different than that first art sale, but the mission remains the same: To keep The Art Room at Triune well stocked with canvases and supplies and provide a place that lifts people up. Last year’s auction raised more than $18,000 for the art room and other Triune programs that minister to Greenville’s homeless.

On April 11, for the seventh time, the Upstate Woman’s Club of Simpsonville will host the Peace of Triune Art Auction. The event in Studio 220 at the Hyatt Regency Greenville is being presented by Southern First Bank and sponsored by Performance HCM, AVL Solutions, Dan Lyles Auctions and Jackson Marketing, Motorsports & Events.

The evening begins with a silent auction at 6:30 p.m., followed by a live auction at 7:30 p.m. conducted by professional auctioneer and art consultant Daniel Lyles of Dan Lyles Auctions. The auction features the works of professional Upstate artists alongside works by Triune artists. All art is donated.

“When the Upstate Woman’s Club of Simpsonville became involved in the event, it really took off,” said Richardson-Moore. “But the best part is that our artists still come and interact with the buyers. It’s another way of raising people up.”

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Upstate professional artists add their support

Adding the works of professional artists happened naturally, according to Kristin Decker, a member and former president of the Upstate Women’s Club of Simpsonville.

“April Huguenin, a professional artist who was a member of our club offered to donate to the auction,” Decker said. “Then Carey Lee Hudson, another Upstate artist who volunteers in the Triune Art Room, began donating and pulling in other professional artists, and it grew from there.”

Hudson began volunteering in the Triune Art Room five years ago and considers it a way to both give and receive God’s love.

“The art room gives people who live on the streets a community and a place to create, which a lot of times is a great relief for the stress that our folks have to deal with—stresses that the rest of us really can’t even imagine,” Hudson said.

Christina Burrell-Thompson became a regular in the Triune Art Room after learning about it from a friend who was homeless. Having dabbled in art as a child, Burrell-Thompson has renewed her passion for artistic expression in a loving and caring environment at Triune. Her paintings will be included in the April 11 auction.

“I’m really surprised that people pay money for the work that I do, but I’m very grateful for the opportunity to give back to what this place does for me and for so many other people,” Burrell-Thompson said.

Supporting the Peace of Triune Art Auction gives hope and opportunity to those who desperately need it, Decker said, along with a chance to meet and get to know those who are benefitting from the event.

“Our art room has become one of our finest ministries because it mixes so seamlessly people who live on the street or in shelters, college students and people who work,” Richardson-Moore said. “We’re offering a place where people can come in and create, or just come in. It’s a very welcoming place where friendships form, and where people gain acceptance and confidence.”

Triune’s art program extends to Sunday morning worship services where a work from the art room is displayed beside the pulpit each week.

“One of my favorite things is having art beside the pulpit every Sunday morning and recognizing the artist,” Richardson-Moore said. “My thinking in starting that was that this is someone who is living in the woods now, and suddenly 250 to 300 people are looking at his or her art and more importantly, looking at him or her as an artist. Everything we do tries to lift people up and displaying those works of art just seemed a natural thing to me.”

For some who have visited Triune over the years, an art room seems an unusual program for those who need food or a job or a home. Richardson-Moore explains it this way, “It’s a good thing to offer food and help with jobs and housing, but it’s a better thing to offer inclusive community, friendship and welcome. It’s a better thing to offer a place to worship, a place to create and a place to belong.”

What:  Peace of Triune Art Auction
When:  April 11, 6:30 p.m.
Where:  Studio 220, Hyatt Regency Greenville
Admission:  Free. Food will be served, so attendees are asked to pre-register.

For information on featured art, follow the Peace of Triune Art Auction on Facebook.

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