NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A unique art gala will be opening its doors in Nashville this weekend, offering attendees an opportunity to help support unhoused and housing-insecure artists.

Daybreak Arts is holding its 2023 Illuminate Art Gala on Saturday, March 25 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Riverside Revival in East Nashville.

Artist Gwen Johnson and Daybreak Arts founder Nicole Minyard at their studio in East Nashville. (WKRN photo)

There, attendees will find an array of exhibits showcasing the works of 22 artists in the Daybreak Artists Collective. Each artist has their own style and story, but all share a common experience in that they have been impacted by homelessness.

The nonprofit Daybreak Arts has been assisting unhoused artists since 2014 by offering them the space and resources to hone their crafts and become financially independent.

Artists craft a wide range of work throughout the year, which Daybreak Arts helps them sell in coffee shops and other spaces. Since its conception, the nonprofit has paid out more than $70,000 to artists in Nashville and helped serve more than 120 artists.

By the time the gala rolls around each year, each artist has curated their own collection. Their works of art range from paintings and drawings to sculptures and photography. Gwen Johnson, who News 2 interviewed last month, will have her jewelry and paintings on display at the gala.

Gwen Johnson shows off one of her art pieces at Daybreak Arts’ studio in East Nashville. (WKRN photo)

“This company saved me. They saved me from destroying myself,” Johnson said. “They also caused me to want to do better. Art really makes a difference… I can’t explain the joy I get when I’m doing a piece of art.”

Over 200 people visited the nonprofit’s annual gala last year at which 14 artists sold over $10,000 worth of original artwork. Daybreak Arts Executive Director Nicole Minyard said in a previous interview with News 2 this year’s gala will be even larger.

In addition to viewing and purchasing original artwork, guests will be able to enjoy specialty cocktails, a cocktail buffet, live jazz, a photobooth and live painting by three different Daybreak artists. The event will also feature a silent auction with “unique” items.

“Instead of seeing unhoused individuals in survival mode, our Illuminate Art Gala creates an opportunity for those individuals to share their talents and creativity with the Nashville community,” Minyard said. “Our artists are able to reclaim their voice through art and introduce new narratives about themselves and their experiences during the gala.”

All proceeds from the Illuminate Art Gala will support program expansion, operational funding, and studio maintenance, which will enable the organization to continue to help provide resources for artists impacted by homelessness.

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For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

“The Daybreak Arts Illuminate Art Gala celebrates each artist in the Daybreak Collective by showcasing their work, while also fostering a sense of community amongst people of different socioeconomic backgrounds and encouraging relationship building for all types of art enthusiasts… I hope all attendees leave the evening inspired and energized to keep bridging the gaps, bringing people together and making art opportunities accessible to everyone,” said Laura Hood Wessels, co-chair of the 2023 gala.