Art With Heart

Like many Denverites, artist Mark Penner Howell wanted to do something to help the victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti. “At first I thought about doing some paintings in response to the earthquake, exploring that devastation and chaos as subject matter," he says. "But that seemed way too tangential and abstract of an exercise. Besides, my art generally has humor and irony at its core, and I couldn't find a way to treat this subject with humor."

Then, he says, "it occurred to me that I could just pause in my artmaking for a week or so, organize this event to time with February's First Friday Art Walk on Santa Fe and just plain sell my work out of my studio. Simple and direct."

All of Penner Howell's recent paintings will be up for grabs at his studio, 900 Santa Fe Drive, with 50 percent of sales going to Haitian relief efforts. Here's how it will work: To buy a painting (ranging from $200 to $2,600), you first make a donation for half the amount to Save the Children, Care, Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders; all of the charities have been vetted for effectiveness and work done in Haiti. A computer will be set up so that you, the consumer, can make the donation and get a tax deduction for your generosity. Give your receipt and the remaining half of the painting price to Penner Howell, and you'll walk away with a great piece of art and the knowledge that you’ve given to a good cause.

"I'm not lowering my prices," notes Penner Howell. "I'm just agreeing to only take half of what I normally would charge." What a guy.

There will also be beer and wine; stop by between 6 and 9 p.m. For information (and to look at some of the work available), visit
Fri., Feb. 5, 6-9 p.m., 2010


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