Alpha Workshops is a fantastic organization based here in New York that teaches people with HIV/AIDS skills in the decorative arts, ranging from decorative painting and faux finishing to wallpaper design and production (see above image for some of their work, including the handcast lamp...then click here to see even more of their incredible creations!). Founded by Ken Wampler in 1995 to improve the quality of life for people living longer, healthier lives with HIV/AIDS, Alpha has grown from two employees with an earned income of $7,000 to a current staff of 35 and an earned income of over $600K. They've done work for major corporations from Benjamin Moore paints to Origins cosmetics as well as created installations for the New York mayoral residence, Gracie Mansion and the ballroom at the Prince George Hotel. They've also been featured in a number of highly regarded shelter magazines including Metropolitan Home and Interior Design and in 2002 they were the recipient of the Elle Deco International Design Award.
As part of their fund-raising efforts, every year Alpha celebrates Valentine's day with a silent auction of one-of-a-kind Valentines created by some of the design industry's top talent. This year's line-up includes Bradley Thiergartner Interiors, Christopher Coleman, Jamie Drake, Matthew Patrick Smyth, and Vicente Wolf just to name a few, oh-and....me! In conjunction with New York Spaces Magazine and Robert Allen-Beacon Hill, Alpha's theme for this year's event is "Love is in the Air" with Valentines inspired by favorite love songs. We've been working hard on our idea and are very excited about the way it's turning out. We might even be able to give you a sneak peak a little later (check back this afternoon). The event is this Thursday, February 5th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Robert Allen-Beacon Hill showroom at 979 Third Avenue, Ste. 301 here in New York. Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased in advance by calling 212-594-7320 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. This is not only a great party, it's an incredible cause that deserves to be recognized and widely supported. So even if you can't be there, why not buy a ticket to show your support. We hope you can make it and look forward to seeing you.