ArtBLINK Gala goes virtual to support cancer research at O’Neal Cancer Center

The O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB will hold its 36th annual and first-ever virtual ArtBLINK Gala on Friday, Feb. 5, featuring an online art auction of 20 original pieces from local artists to support cancer research.

ab 21.2In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Advisory Board of the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB will host its 36th annual ArtBLINK Gala in an entirely virtual format this year on Friday, Feb. 5, from 6:30-7:45 p.m.   

Birmingham’s premier event will still feature local artists who create original works of art in the “blink of an eye” to be sold via auction to the highest bidder; but this year, attendees will bid online. Proceeds from ArtBLINK support top-priority projects in cancer research and care through the O’Neal Cancer Center’s Fund for Excellence.  

The O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB is among the nation’s leading cancer research institutions and one of only 51 cancer centers in the country with a “comprehensive” designation from the National Cancer Institute.

“Being routinely recognized as among the nation’s best means the residents of Alabama have access to the latest therapies, cutting-edge clinical trials and the expertise needed to treat their cancer right in their own backyard,” said Barry Sleckman, M.D., Ph.D., director of the O’Neal Cancer Center. “The bright side of having this event virtually is that it provides more people —patients, family members, caregivers, students, health care advocates and professionals — the opportunity to attend.” 

Television personality Jeh Jeh Pruitt will host this year’s festivities, which include 20 local artists who specialize in a variety of art forms, including watercolor, metal, glass, oil and clay. Participating artists include Larry Allen, Ahmad Austin, Vicki Denaburg, Joey Longoria and Carrie Pittman, as well as Marshall Christie, Savannah Smith and Ajene Williams from Sloss Metal Arts. Most of these artists have a personal connection to cancer and volunteer their time and talents to this cause because it has touched each of them in some capacity.

A special highlight of the evening will recognize George Wheelock III, this year’s Director’s Circle honoree. Wheelock, a founding member and former president of the Advisory Board, has served the Cancer Center in many ways over the past 40 years. The ArtBLINK Director’s Circle is a membership program that offers individuals from the community an opportunity to engage with the O’Neal Cancer Center and further invest in its high-priority initiatives, including cancer-related research projects and patient navigator programs.

In addition to watching the event’s video program for free and bidding on artwork through its online auction, each attendee will have the option to buy a ticket to reserve a special ArtBLINK dinner from Iz Catering to enjoy at home.  

Watch the premiere of the ArtBLINK Gala program on the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center’s YouTube channel at To view the final pieces of art that will be available for auction, register by texting ARTBLINK to 72727.

For more information, visit