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Grab some art, food, drinks at this Gainesville bash
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The second-annual block pARTy, benefiting Vision 2030 is coming up and will take place in this space. The event raises money for public art displays around the county. - photo by Scott Rogers

More art, a bigger guest list, a bigger bar: Gainesville’s Vision 2030 block pARTy aims to be a can’t-miss event in 2019.

The public art-fueled bash is back this year on May 10 after its inaugural party in the parking lot and green space beside Hunt Tower — the area organizers are calling the Royal Space — near the Gainesville square.

Event planners took a “go big or go home” approach to the event this year, said Whitney Syfan Brown, one of the organizers of the event.

“We took all the feedback from last year and we’ve decided to spend more money this year,” she said.

A deeper investment from Vision 2030, a project of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, means the group has even more art to sell in its small-ball art auction, which is for the most part limited to less than $100 per piece in an attempt to appeal to first-time or young art collectors.

It also means the group has more space this year; the event was sold out in May 2018, when it was limited to 300 people.

Brown said the smaller crowd size led to a lineup at least an hour before the event by people who wanted into the event but didn’t have a ticket.

“We ended up allowing people to buy limited access,” she said. “They didn’t get food and didn’t get the cups to take home, but they could come in and purchase beer and purchase food — and purchase art.”

This year, 600 tickets are available and include food from Atlanta-based Asian-Mexican fusion food truck Yumbii and beer from Tap It.

Tickets are $35 each and include a stainless steel tumbler, food and a chance to score some relatively cheap art.

Plus, the cash goes to a good cause.

“Every bit of the proceeds have gone to the purchase another piece of public art,” said Tina Carlson, another organizer of the party. “(In 2018) we purchased six pieces of kinetic sculpture which will go to the Chestatee roundabout.”

Last year’s block party raised more than $15,000, which has been used for a public art display at the Sardis roundabout.

There’s no specific art project picked out this year, according to Brown, but there are ongoing public art projects from Vision 2030 that could benefit from the party.

The featured artist this year is Gainesville native Angela Chrusiaki Blehm.

“She is a Gainesville local with a national following,” Brown said. “Angela has been featured in architectural digest. Her pieces are very graphic and lovely and we will have one in our silent auction.”

Vision 2030 block pARTy

What: A downtown party and art auction

When: 6-10 p.m. May 10

Where: Hunt Tower, Gainesville

How much: $35


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