There are two reasons to expect that Collect! will be a complete blowout. First off, it’s always Berkeley Art Center’s biggest annual event. Second, this year marks the center’s 50th anniversary. There will be wine, live jazz, and food from chef Hugh Groman, who got his start at the nationally famous Gramercy Tavern in New York. But the main attraction is the sprawling collection of artwork on display by more than 70 Bay Area artists spanning many media: paintings, ceramics, lithographs, mixed media, wood cuts, digital prints, drawings, and more. Highlights include work by Sandra Ono, who transforms everyday objects into organic sculptures, and Katie Hawkinson’s abstract paintings based on nature. New this year will be a series of interactive stations where guests can do their own creating, but art collectors won’t want to miss the evening’s silent auction — a prime opportunity to own a piece by one of the region’s most exciting, emerging artists.
Sept. 16, 6-9 p.m., $50, 1275 Walnut St., Berkeley, BerkeleyArtCenter.org.