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'Smash and Grab' Fundraiser Attracts Artists and Collectors Alike

Surviving fifteen years as an art space in Miami unofficially grants you the status of cultural institution.  Starting your fifteenth year in a new location with twice the space only cements it.  

Locust Projects of Miami is well poised for longevity as it prepares for both its 15th anniversary, and the 10th edition of it’s ‘Smash and Grab’ signature fundraising event.

Smash and Grab is a fundraising event that blends a raffle and a Miami-style wild party.  Each ticket holder is guaranteed a piece of art, and the first to get his or her name called gets the first choice of art on display.  As the works whittle down, the choices get fewer and fewer, until the last piece is taken by the last ticket holder.

“The atmosphere is fun-filled and lively, not cut-throat,” says co-organizer Emma Galler.  For both curators and artists, “it’s a win-win” she adds.  Artists get their work in collections, and the collectors might be able to snag a great piece with an early ticket. 

In addition to the fun, the event is particularly helpful for the non-profit.  With tickets selling at $450 for non-members, Emma says this is “our single largest event and fundraiser of the year. It's major for us.”

If that's too expensive, there are also $50 general admission tickets for those voyeurs who still want to eat, drink and watch the festivities.  

This year more than 120 artists have donated their works to participate and help Locust move into the new year with their right foot on the ground.  Artists include Carlos Betancourt, Justin Beal, Agustina Woodgate, and more.  Everything from sculptures to paintings and video installations are in the space for the event.  It has been available for early viewing since last week.

Speaking of the diversity and plenitude of art on display, Emma describes it as “a true testament of the support we have from artists in the community and outside the community as well.”

At the preview event last week, collectors could be spotted taking notes on their favorite pieces, and some were admittedly mapping their trajectory through the crowded room.  Should anybody else want their favorite piece, they had better know how to get there quickly if their name is called.

When asked to describe the event in three words, Emma called it “art-based madness.”  That might sound kind of crazy.  But it also sounds kind of fun.

You can join in on the raffle this Saturday by checking out the information below or visiting the Locust Project’s website.

Locust Projects –  3852 North Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33127
Event: Saturday, October 27, 6:30-9:30pm – the raffle will begin promptly at 7:30pm
Preview exhibition: October 20 – 26

Event is catered by Locust’s neighbors Harry’s Pizza, and Misha’s Cupcakes.  Refreshments are by Grolsch, Patron Spirits Company, and Societe Perrier.

Daniel Rivero is a reporter and producer for WLRN, covering Latino and criminal justice issues. Before joining the team, he was an investigative reporter and producer on the television series "The Naked Truth," and a digital reporter for Fusion.