Valentines For AIDS 

Runs through Sunday, Feb. 16

The days leading up to Valentine's Day can be rough. For those of us fortunate enough to have a plus-one, it's a race to ramp up the romance and surprise our loved one. On the flip side, some of the singles out there are bracing themselves for the feeling of being stuck in an airport on Thanksgiving and pretending that a Quiznos sub is turkey and mashed potatoes.

Fortunately, there's one Valentine's Day tradition that everyone can enjoy: the annual Valentines for AIDS exhibition. Beginning Thursday, Feb. 6, and wrapping up Sunday, Feb. 16, Flying M Coffeehouse covers its walls with Valentine's-themed works by local artists. Every piece is available for purchase through silent auction, and proceeds benefit people living with HIV/AIDS through the Safety Net for AIDS Program (SNAP).

Valentines for AIDS turns 21 this year, and since the inaugural event, $280,000 has been raised for AIDS awareness and advocacy programs. In 2013 alone, the works of the 250 participating artists brought in $20,202 for SNAP.

Typically, a smattering of works have a popular, kitschy feel that makes for great hanging in a kitchen or hallway; but there are almost always a few gems that pluck a heartstring or provoke a moment of introspection. There's a little of everything on display at Flying M, so if you're looking for a must-see on First Thursday or a jaunty excursion before your hot V-Day date, that's where you'll find it.

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