Let the bidding wars begin

Lawrence Art Auction set for Saturday; record number of artists donate work

If you've meandered through the galleries at the Lawrence Arts Center during the past year and soaked up works by artists like Colette Bangert, Robert Sudlow and Nick Vaccaro, then you've benefited from the Lawrence Art Auction.

That's because the 2002 auction generated more than $60,000 to help bring those shows and 10 others to the new center.


Thad Allender/Journal-World Photo

Lawrence resident Joe Kraus browses a wall lined with artwork that will be auctioned off Saturday at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H. This year's auction features work by 191 artists.

This year, a record number of artists -- 191 -- have donated work to go on the auction block during the annual fund-raiser, scheduled for Saturday at the Arts Center, 940 N.H.

"I always have to stand back and think about how much the artists support us," said Ann Evans, executive director of the Arts Center. "There are 191 artists donating to the Lawrence Arts Center. That's a really wonderful statement. I want people to know that as we ask business people for money, we ask families for money -- the artists are supporting us also, and they're supporting us very generously."

The auction began in 1980 as a way to encourage artists and art lovers to support the Arts Center. It attracts about 600 people on auction night; hundreds of others view the preview exhibition, which has been on display in the galleries since late March and will continue through auction night.

The selection is diverse. Photographs, paintings, sculptures, glass, ceramics, jewelry, textiles and mixed media offerings by area artists line the walls and perch on pedestals throughout the gallery.

What: Annual Lawrence Art AuctionWhen: Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Live auction begins at 8 p.m.Where: Lawrence Arts Center galleries, 940 N.H. Details: Bids can be placed on silent auction items, which are on display in the preview exhibition in The Ann Evans Gallery, until 7:45 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. Saturday.

About 120 works will be available in the silent auction. The items have been split into two auctions: The first ends at 7:45 p.m. Saturday, the second at 8:45 p.m.

An additional 80 works of original art will be auctioned live by volunteer auctioneer Kasey Wold beginning at 8 p.m. in the theater. Last year's live auction generated an average of 98.4 percent of the art works' retail value.

Admission is $20 and includes a bidding ticket and food donated by Hy-Vee.

"It's a good party," Evans said.


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