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Locust Projects' Annual Smash & Grab Fundraiser Features Over 120 Artworks

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It's time to snatch some pieces from your fellow art lovers' fingertips: The annual Smash & Grab fundraiser kicks off this Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Locust Projects, Miami's longest-running alternative art space.

Smash & Grab revolves around a raffle for which local as well as international artists have donated works of art -- over 120 works of art, so that every raffle ticket sold is guaranteed a prize. When the name of a ticketholder is called, they get up and run, not walk, to the art piece of their choice. Whatever they get, they get to keep.

See also: Exile Books Pop-Up Premieres Saturday at Locust Projects

According to executive director Chana Sheldon, this is the must-see art event of the year.

"Guests can expect a bit of tension, excitement, and anxiety," says Sheldon. If someone has already grabbed your piece, you must go to the next one on your list, and so on, and you have to pay attention to who is grabbing what, what is left, and where you are in relation to the remaining choices you have. It's a fun way to acquire artwork, get to know new artists, and support Locust Projects's efforts.

This year's showing features works by local, national, and international artists, from Franky Cruz, Felice Grodin, and PJ Mills, to Fred Snitzer, Magnus Sodamin, and more.

In addition to the crowded room full of artists and enthusiastic art collectors running around, Smash & Grab will keep the fun going with its One Night Stand after party, which features three artist DJs Daniel Clapp, Liz Ferrer, and Oly Vargas, a full bar, food from Shake Shack, pizza, and cupcakes. The after party will be in a private parking lot and is open to everybody after 8:30 p.m., with tickets at $20. Members and those who purchased the last raffle tickets October 17 get in for free.

Though it might sound like one of the most fun art fundraisers you could imagine, it's not only fun and games, Sheldon says.

"This is a space where the community, including art collectors and artists can come together. Locust Projects is absolutely the place to be Saturday night," Sheldon said. "Some of the key players in the art community will be there. The members of Locust Projects dreamt up this creative way to support the organization. For over 16 years, this organization, founded by artists, for artists, has made it this far because of community support. We have grown and been able to expand the services to artists and in our programming...We are the space for artists to show their most groundbreaking work."

Tickets for the raffle are sold out for this year, but members of the public can buy tickets to view the event and peruse the art pieces before the raffle begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $50. To see previews of the works of art, the participating artists and their biographies, just check locustprojects.org.

"What has been so great for me in my 12 years of working for Locust Projects, is that we have so much artist rapport, secure donations, and great quality art," Sheldon says. "...It's why Locust Projects is so important to the community. In addition to being a fundraiser, it's an exciting community moment, with all contributing artists coming, art collectors, and the public."

-- Karyn Leverette

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