Toma Mi Corazón exhibit at La Peña turns 25

The Toma Mi Corazon exhibit at La Pena raises funds for its  community outreach, art and education programs. A wooden heart by artist Brian Joseph will be among the those auctioned.

 A wooden heart by artist Brian Joseph will be among the those auctioned.

For 25 years, the Latino art gallery La Peña has been opening up its heart to Austinites with the popular Toma Mi Corazón, or Take My Heart, fundraiser. The gallery distributes wooden hearts to crafty Austinites, from artists to local celebrities, who then convert the pieces into artwork. The hearts are auctioned at the Toma Mi Corazón annual exhibit, which raises funds for the gallery’s community outreach, art and education programs.

Even Austinites without celebrity status can create a corazón if they swing by the Congress Avenue gallery to pick up a heart and drop off the donated artwork by 5 p.m. Saturday.

Over the years, the Toma Mi Corazon fundraiser has grown in popularity.

At a time when Austin faces the ongoing displacement of arts and music venues, supporting the longtime organizations promoting Latino arts and culture has become even more significant. La Peña, which launched in 1981, has a $10,000 fundraising goal. Veteran Trinidadian artist Brian Joseph will be among this year’s contributors.

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The Toma Mi Corazón party begins at 4 p.m. on Feb. 11, followed by a silent auction at 6 p.m. Keep celebrating at the after party at 8 p.m. with food and refreshments. Admission is $10. Visit lapena-austin.org for more information.