Everyone benefits from cheap art 

Philanthropic Punks

Generosity was the name of the game at Saturday night’s Presents from Punks art show upstairs at Mellow Mushroom. Between the artists who donated their work, the free Van Gogh shots, and the big-hearted organizers (Jon Stout a.k.a. Badjon and SHT!), the punky fundraiser exemplified the true spirit of the holidays. Organizers spent Saturday packing Mellow’s walls with badass, eclectic works from artists like Lisa Shimko, Julio Cotto, Kevin Taylor, and a lot of other names we hadn’t heard but will definitely keep our ears perked for. A few pieces were amateurish but they were all generously donated by local artists for the benefit, and collectively they represented Charleston’s youthful and talented underground art scene — and all but a few silent auction pieces were priced at under $50. The art was opened up to buyers at 8 p.m., and by the time we arrived at 9, the pickins were already slim and the bar was almost impassably packed. While all the original pieces we wanted were spoken for, the table full of affordable prints from Sht!, Badjon, and Julio Cotto — all priced at $10 or less — was still stocked and we got some goodies. Stout says they raised $3575 for charity. The morning after the show, they went to Walmart and filled up 11 carts with toys for Toys for Tots, then gave the rest of the money to Lowcountry Food Bank. Yep, we just teared up a little, too. Here’s to getting there early next year, and maybe expanding to a larger space.


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