Going once, going twice … get sold on Anderson auction
August 9, 2005
We all know, from the movies, what an auction is all about: Get dressed up, enter a stuffy room full of stuffy people and an even stuffier auctioneer, and be real quiet and serious – except when you decide to bid wads of dollars for an item. It’s the kind of setting many of us wouldn’t go near, even if we could gain access.The folks at Snowmass Village’s Anderson Ranch Arts Center must have missed those movies. Anderson Ranch’s Annual Art Auction is one of the truest community events in Snowmass, as much a town picnic as it is a fund-raising event. Everyone is invited – today beginning at 11 a.m. – and it costs nothing to attend. Even those who don’t bid on the 270 or so items in the live auction can feast on the buffet lunch (served from the ranch’s excellent cafe), listen to the jazz of pianist Walt Smith, and take in the auction pieces – the equivalent of a visit to a top-rung contemporary art museum. And even for those without especially deep pockets, there are items on the block – like a cool stoneware lion by Santa Kumar and Laxmi Prajapati, two Tibetans who visited the ranch this summer – for as little as $300. The silent auction, held in the Wyly Painting Building just before the live auction, features plenty of lower-end finds.The art for sale comes from a roster of top names, both national (Sam Maloof, Doug and Mike Starn, Donald Sultan, Tom Sachs) and local (James Surls, Mark Cesark, Lee Lyon and Jacqueline Spiro). But more impressive than the names is the story underlying their participation. This is not a matter of reaching into the warehouse, pulling out a piece and shipping it to Snowmass. Anderson Ranch Executive Director Jim Baker (whose photograph “Hanging Lake, Glenwood Canyon, Colorado” is included in the auction) estimates that 75 percent of the work was created at the ranch, or with the auction specifically in mind. And with all proceeds from the auction going to Anderson Ranch’s education programs, that makes for a vicious cycle of creating and giving back.