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Art auction raises money for kids

Stewart Oksenhorn
Mother and Child, an acrylic on canvas by local artist Gino Hollander, is included in the 4th Annual Art Auction, set for Saturday at Magidson Fine Art. Photo provided.
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When Ingrid Magidson was living in New York in the late ’80s, she served as head of fund raising for the Laura Rosenberg Foundation, a group involved in the fight against pediatric leukemia. A few years later, after she had moved to Aspen, Magidson got a call from New York asking for advice on fund-raising tactics. Magidson was surprised by the identity of the caller – it was Norma Rosenberg, the founder of the organization – but she had good advice to lend.”She said, ‘How do you do this? They’re not giving anything,'” Magidson said. “I told her, I wouldn’t leave. I’d ask them, how can you not give to children who are sick?”

Magidson, who now lives in Missouri Heights, no longer works with cancer patients; the work made her too sad. But she brings that same sort of energy to a cause for which she has much passion – providing artistic opportunities for children. Three years ago, Magidson organized the first Annual Art Auction at Magidson Fine Art, the Aspen gallery she owns and operates with her husband. Proceeds from the auction went to the Children’s Rocky Mountain School to fund artist residency programs for the students – two of whom were little Magidsons – as well as a swing set, cubbies and artificial turf. The three auctions to date have raised approximately $45,000.This year’s auction, set for Saturday, features some 35 pieces donated by the Magidsons, including works by Robert Rauschenberg, Aaron Fink and Eva Cellini. Also donating works are valley artists James Surls, Mark Cesark, Michael Raaum, Gino Hollander and Bayard Hollins. Magidson estimates the auction will raise up to $25,000, which will go to the nonprofit organization The Voices of Tomorrow Foundation, which she began last year. Magidson said proceeds would again go to the Children’s Rocky Mountain School, though in the future she would like to give funds to a variety of valley schools.

The 4th Annual Art Auction will have silent bidding from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow. Refreshments will be served from 4-6 p.m. Also to be auctioned are items donated by local retailers, including dinners, jewelry and hotel stays.Exhibited alongside the work of the professional artists will be pieces by students from the Children’s Rocky Mountain School. There is a wall of self-portrait ceramic tiles and a weaving. Also, during the silent auction, there will be a canvas and markers for kids to make a mural. The idea is to get the kids involved in the event.

“It’s good for their self-esteem to see their artwork hanging in the gallery,” said Magidson, the daughter of two artists. “And it gets the children involved. I’ve been involved with fund-raisers where it’s a dinner dance and the kids aren’t involved at all.”Magidson, in fact, is planning to add an adults-oriented event to her fund-raising schedule – a masquerade ball, perhaps for Halloween, possibly to be inaugurated this year. Magidson’s longer-range plan is to build a children’s museum in the midvalley. Stewart Oksenhorn’s e-mail address is stewart@aspentimes.com


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