Diviana Navarro is a BenitoLink Intern Staff Reporter.

Within the lush garden of the Jardines de San Juan restaurant, the Mexico de Mis Amores silent art auction was held on Aug. 23.

In a collaboration between Voices of Monterey Bay, the Watsonville Film Festival and Tara Home, the event brought in over 60 pieces of vibrant and unique art from all around Mexico.

“This is the first year we’ve hosted a silent auction,” said Voices of Monterey Bay founding editor Julie Reynolds Martinez. “It is a great way to celebrate community through art.”

With a no-host bar, free appetizers, a raffle and live poetry, the event reflected the feel-good, supportive atmosphere of the local organizations and the art they shared.

Alebrijes, small and brightly colored figurines of magical creatures which originated in Oaxaca, Mexico, were scattered throughout the tables of auctionable items. Handmade tapestries depicting vivid scenes, beaded pottery in myriad of colors, as well as local wines, were up for auction.

Perhaps the most rare piece of the evening, a watercolor by the late restaurateur and artist Manuel Santana was added to the auction at the last minute. Santana lived in Aptos for more than 40 years and established Manuel’s in Aptos and Jardines de San Juan in San Juan Bautista. The piece was sold for $900.