It’s been 36 years since ART FOR LIFE was started – which has become the longest running art auction to benefit HIV. This event proves that one person can make a difference. A struggling artist, Laurence came into the Face to Face office (then in Guerneville) wanting to donate a piece of her art. Not having much money she asked that they take the piece and auction it off and keep the proceeds. Thus, Art for Life was born and is still going strong this many years later.

We are so grateful to the Artist community in Sonoma County. They have supported our work and helped raise over $2.5 million dollars for our programs. When Covid hit we knew that we had to find a way to have the Art for Life Auction continue, so we took the auction online and found that we reached a larger audience that benefited both F2F and our artists.

Here are just a few of what our Artists have to say about Art for Life starting with Laurence!


The year was 1987.

David first, then a dear friend’s brother Bart and his partner Steve. Then more. Lots of young beautiful people. My eyes were opened, so many around me were being touched in some fashion by HIV/AIDS.

The news was not good, the politics were even worse! “Compassion” was not the word I was hearing from the media and power-at be around that time. It was all leaving me angry, frustrated and hopeless. Heartbroken, I knew I needed to do something. The only thing of value I had at the time was my artwork. I thought that others like me must be feeling the same way.

I gathered my courage. I walked into Face to Face with only an idea. Rick Dean, the event coordinator, master fund raiser, was all smiles and willing to hear me out. The seed of an art auction was planted that day. I am not sure of what I was expecting that first time I walked into F2F, but what I found was an incredible group of shiny, compassionate, “can do,” loving and empowering people. Amazing and life changing to this day

Art for Life is an important source of revenue for Face to Face. It was back then and still is today. It is also a movement of empowerment!

Thanks to all the generosity of artists, a sea of hardworking volunteers, supporters and sponsors throughout the years. LOTS of JOY!.

I am grateful. Happy Birthday to Face to Face and all you hardworking peeps!


Clark has been involved with Face to Face since the beginning. He participated in the second volunteer training at Face to Face. As he states, “within a year or two, it became obvious I couldn’t devote as much time as I’d like to working with clients and keep my art career growing. Donating a piece of artwork to the event was a perfect way to still give to Face to Face.”

And that he has done, donating a piece to Art for Life every year since its inception.

The reason behind supporting AFL? “Of course I lost friends to the disease. Working with Face to Face was a way I could do something during those years when I felt so powerless. It feels great to give back in this way!”


I think it was about 25 years ago that I began donating jewelry to the AFL auction. Back then I was a full- time jewelry artist with more jewelry than money, so donating jewelry was a way I could contribute to a meaningful cause.

I don’t remember exactly how AFL came into my radar. It could have been through the Ren Brown Gallery which sold my jewelry for many, many years, or from word of mouth through other local artists. But I suspect it was from my long-time involvement with Ren Brown.

Back in the old days, art auctions were a good way for artists to give to worthwhile causes. Back then, in Sonoma County, there were not that many of them and it seemed that the art easily sold to raise money for the various organizations that held them. The AFL auction was, in my opinion, one of the most successful auctions, raising a good amount of money for their cause. I was thrilled to be a part of it and I was happy to see my art sell for full retail value.

These days, I am nearly retired but still produce a small amount of jewelry each year, which I sell at the local open studio events, Art at the Source in June and Art Trails in the fall. I donate my jewelry to 2 or 3 auctions each year. My jewelry is available year around at Corrick’s in downtown Santa Rosa.

It’s been my pleasure to help your cause in a small way.


Originally, I heard about Art for Life when I became a volunteer with F2F. My first time attending was when it was held in a room at the Flamingo. I volunteered to pour the donated wine which was a red, a white, and a rose from one winery. I believe it was a couple years later I was assigned a F2F client by the name of Tony Marks. We became very close and I also with his partner Jim Zimmerman. Jim was a fabulous artist and was donating to Art for Life. (He since has passed but his sister Pam Zimmerman donated one of his paintings every year)

At the time Jim and I met, I was just starting out as a budding Artist and he told Rick Dean about me and my art and that began my annual donation to Art for Life.

Way back in the early 80’s a cherished friend was diagnosed with the “gay disease” I heard of this organization called Face to Face that was looking for volunteers to help out in a variety of ways to be there for those affected, mostly men at the time. A friend and I signed up for the training being offered out of the Face to Face office in Guerneville, hence my beginning exposure to face to face. In doing the volunteer work with F2F I met many men and their “families” and became very close to them only to lose that friendship once again to AIDS.

It feels so wonderful to be able to contribute to such a wonderful generous organization. I am no longer doing the hands-on volunteer work so this is my way of being able to give back to support all the good from this organization.