Red Brick brings back Valley Art Auction
If You Go …
What: Valley Art Auction
Where: Red Brick Center for the Arts
When: Tuesday, Jan. 19, 4-7 p.m.
How much: Free and open to the public
More info: www.aspenart.org
After a four-year hiatus, the Red Brick Center for the Arts is reviving its Valley Art Auction.
The auction will run from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday. A preview of the 70-plus artworks by local artists is currently up in the Red Brick’s gallery.
Since the last auction in 2011, the nonprofit arts center has hosted an artist tribute dinner as its annual winter benefit. Red Brick director Angie Callen said artists and collectors have continued inquiring about when an auction might return.
A simple email call for donations quickly drew about 50 pieces from artists, many with notes of gratitude to the Red Brick for giving local artists a forum to exhibit, practice and gather.
“It was so fantastic to hear from so many artists and see what the Red Brick has been able to do for them,” she said.
Callen is hoping to host the auction on a biannual basis.
“We don’t want to go through four years and then it runs its course,” she said. “We’d like to have a long run and do it every other year. That might still allow us to do an artist tribute or another kind of event (in the intervening years).”
Last year, the nonprofit took over the summertime Plein Air Festival, which is now its primary fundraising event. But Callen wanted to keep a corresponding winter celebration on the Red Brick’s books. Hosting a festive auction in the building with live music, food and drinks, she said, sounded like a good fit.
The Red Brick’s monthly “First Thursdays” art openings have become a staple of Aspen culture, but tend to draw locals almost exclusively. Callen is hoping to draw visitors in town on ski vacations and for Gay Ski Week as well as locals to the Valley Art Auction.
“We intentionally marketed this beyond our own crowd,” she said. “We found with the Plein Air Festival, doing it during peak tourist time, that we were able to draw in a lot of visitors. It’s a fun way for someone who is here visiting to experience what a local artists’ event is like.”
The show includes works by local artists like Carol Lowenstern, Nancy Kullgren, Isa Catto Shaw and Betty Weiss, whose family donated one of her signature geometric works, titled “In the Wind,” for the auction.
Painter Rosalyn Pergrande will do a painting demonstration during the event. She and her young daughter, Laila, also have pieces in the auction.
Bidding will start on the low end at $25 and on the high end at $500.
In auctions past, the Red Brick has grossed between $15,000 and $20,000. Callen is hoping to stay in that ballpark. All of the proceeds will go toward the Red Brick’s arts education and outreach programs.
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