Caren Ann Jackson's photography is up for auction at IKE Box to help raise money for nonprofit Isaac's Room. (Courtesy/Caren Ann Jackson)

As businesses were forced to reduce operations and art fairs were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, artist Caren Ann Jackson had an idea.

She decided to take the photography she would normally sell at art fairs during the summer and auction it off during a monthlong event at IKE Box, a coffee shop on 299 Cottage St. N.E.

“The idea is to get people into the IKE Box,” she said.

Starting Wednesday, July 1 there will be 30 canvas prints of her photography from Oregon and Europe that range in size from 8x10 to 38x49 inches. People can show up and write down their bid and check back to make sure they’re still in the running.

By the end of the month, the highest bidder will go home with a piece of art.

The proceeds will benefit Isaac’s Room, a nonprofit helping young people build job skills.

“I so believe in Isaac’s Room and what those programs bring to the community,” Jackson said.

She said it helps support the business and gets people back visiting downtown again.

Caren Ann Jackson's photography is on auction at the IKE Box for the month of July. (Courtesy/Caren Ann Jackson)

But, it’s not the first time she’s raised funds for Isaac’s Room.

Last year, she and her husband hosted a fundraiser dinner at their home and waited on guests while dressed in bowties and white shirts.

Jackson has background in nonprofit work and has served on the board of the Main Street Association.

Each year she typically takes her art to the Englewood Forest Festival and to the Festival of Fine Art at Westminster Presbyterian Church.

July’s auction gives her an opportunity to show her work in public as the forest festival was canceled this year.

“I love having the art out there. That coupled with how it has been devastating downtown [because of the coronavirus]” Jackson said. 

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