Silent/Live auctions support Upstairs Artspace

Published 5:30 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Oaxacan carving, from the folk art collection of Ted Oliver, is one of the works up for sale in the silent auction going on this week at the Upstairs Artspace on Trade St. in Tryon. (photo by Chris Bartol)

In 2006 the Upstairs Artspace decided to raise money with a different silent art auction–one where art owners, not artists, would donate the art. So board members foraged their homes for art, hung it in the front window and turned a modest profit.
Encouraged, the Upstairs held three more Silent Art Auctions. Each time more art was donated. By 2009, the auction offered about 100 works and made good money. Last month the Upstairs went public with its financial difficulties, so people have stepped up and donated approximately 240 pieces of art for the fifth  Silent Art Auction. The goal is to raise at least $10,000.
The auction is open daily this week for people to come in on a regular basis and place their bids. Hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; on Friday the gallery will remain open until 7 p.m. On the last day, this Saturday, April 9, the bidding for Silent Art Auction pieces closes promptly at 4 p.m. This is followed by a casual wine and appetizer party. At 5 p.m., the live auction begins with about 30 pieces of choice art and craft going to the highest bidders. Professional auctioneer Bill Jones will conduct the auction, which is expected to last about an hour.
“Both auctions present the chance to pick up terrific art at extremely low prices,” said Gail Muir, co-chair of the event. More than 140 items have minimum bids under $50.
Co-chair Harry Sparshott emphasizes the wide variety of art styles and schools.
“We’ve got work by the famous early illustrator Maxfield Parrish and by established Brooklyn, N.Y., abstract painter James Biederman,” Sparshott said.
Ted Oliver, whose folk art collection is renowned, has donated several pieces by such iconic artists as Mary Proctor and Howard Finster.
Again, much of the art is what people have enjoyed in their home for years, but then decided to donate it to a good cause. Often the artist is unknown or obscure, but organizers said that doesn’t make a piece less desirable. For example, a glass vessel was made by an unnamed artist at the Corning Glass Museum school. Other excellent pieces of uncertain origin include a print of an African head, a large antique basket and a trio of metal cats.
An added attraction is work donated by popular local artists such as Martine House, Janet Orselli, Patricia Cole-Ferullo, Dom Ferullo, Linda Hudgins, Claude Graves, B. J. Precourt, Jim Shackelford and Rich Nelson.
For more auction information, call 828-859-2828.
– article submitted

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