Anderson Ranch Arts Center exceeded its fundraising goal with $509,000 donated at the 31st Annual Art Auction last Saturday. "We are thrilled with the level of support we received from the community and from our donors," said Anderson Ranch Arts Center Executive Director Barbara Bloemink. "Great weather, wonderful artwork in both the silent and live auctions and high enthusiasm about the Ranch contributed to our event."We dedicated the day as a celebration of the life of our friend and benefactor Charles Wyly and given the results, we know that he was here is spirit in so many ways," Bloemink added. A mixed-media piece by Chicago artist Theaster Gates was the highest sale at $39,000, almost $20,000 over the estimated price. Gates, a featured artist at Anderson Ranch along with two black monks, conducted a musical performance - "Dave the Slave the Potter" - to a crowd of 200 on Friday as part of the weekend celebration. An estimated 400 people attended the event on the landscaped grounds of the historic ranch that has served as the artistic and cultural hub of the town of Snowmass Village for more than 40 years. Donated by artists, galleries and individuals including Ranch faculty and artists-in-residence, 260 pieces were in the live and silent auctions. "We are thankful to all who contributed their art, their time and their talents to help make this a truly successful event," Bloemink said. Proceeds from the event fund programs at Anderson Ranch including classes, residencies, lecturers, visiting artists, guest critics and scholarships. More than 20 percent of Ranch students attend on scholarship.For more information, visit www.andersonranch.org.