Root Division Executive Director Michelle Mansour poses for photos at the visual arts nonprofit's gallery along Mission Street in San Francisco. Photo by Carlos Mureithi

Two-hundred-and-eleven pieces of art from more than 175 artists will be up for auction tonight at Root Division, a visual arts nonprofit at 1131 Mission Street.

The organization’s Executive Director Michelle Mansour said they are expecting 250 to 300 participants at the event, its 16th Annual Benefit Art Auction.

“Last year was great,” she said. “Each year it’s gotten better and better and each year’s more successful than the previous year, so we’re hoping for that even this year.”

This year’s auction, held from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., features work by established artists such as Amy Ellingson, Ben Venom and Misako Inaoka, as well as some emerging artists – most of whom have been part of the Root Division’s incubator Studios Program. Those include Natasha Carlos, Rea Lynn de Guzman and Xiao Wang.

Styles on display include painting, abstract, sculpture, and concept.

The value of the art ranges from around $40 for one child’s work to $10,000 for an ink-on-paper piece by Frank Lobdell.

Some pieces, such as Lobdell’s, were donations to Root Division. Their sale proceeds will be donated to the nonprofit, Mansour said.

“The other artists had an option to select between a 10-to-40 percent commission from the sale,” she said.

Mansour said the bidding will be in two categories: silent and live bidding.

“We have under 20 pieces in the live auction, just ’cause it’s time-consuming and there’s a lot of people and it’s hard to keep people’s attention for too long,” she said.

For the third consecutive year, Aaron Bastian from the Bonhams auction house at the edge of the Mission District will be the auctioneer for the event.

“Their (Root Division) auction is always a successful one,” he said.

Bonhams provides auctioneers for free to nonprofits within the art space, Bastian said.

Mansour said Root Division sold art worth more than $100,000 at last year’s auction – 178 pieces from a total of 199.

Her expectation for this year’s event?

“We would love to gross over $150,000 from the event,” she said. 

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