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Art expert takes skills to non-profit

October 1, 2009 3:23:52 PM PDT
It can be difficult for anyone to lose a job. But for one local woman, she decided to volunteer and use her skills for a very good cause. And she may even be familiar to you. It is really a case of turning lemons to lemonade. This New Yorker is using her know-how and experience to help a local non-profit raise more money.

Twice a week Kathleen Guzman volunteers her time at Housing Works, a thrift shop that benefits New Yorkers with HIV and AIDS.

"You can definitely find real gems here," she said.

There are clothes and home wares and plenty of art. And it turns out that Kathleen knows quite a lot about the art. She's a fine art expert and auctioneer.

She started volunteering in January, after she lost her job at an auction house. She says the change has been good for her.

And Housing Works is happy too, reaping the financial benefits of her knowledge. And Kathleen's skills will be really put to the test when she auctions off 60 old prints donated by a bank.

"I think the estimate on this is $1,000 to $1,500," she said.

If the scene seems all too familiar, there's a reason. Kathleen often appears on PBS' Antiques Roadshow.

"I was in the store and someone asked for my autograph," she said. "It was pretty funny."

Better yet, they tap into her knowledge. And they get it all for free.

The auction for the early American prints is Wednesday, October 7. Kathleen will be the auctioneer, and if you're hoping to meet her, there's a VIP pre-auction party. Tickets for that are $50. The auction is free to attend. You can also participate online.

Visit HousingWorks.org/EarlyAmericanPrints for more information.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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