Art auction raises more than $12,000 for public art in Arlington

Barbara Aliaga, center, bids for art with Glen Rengen, left, and Penny Peeters, right, cheering her on at the Fall into Art Auction Saturday, Oct. 20. -
Barbara Aliaga, center, bids for art with Glen Rengen, left, and Penny Peeters, right, cheering her on at the Fall into Art Auction Saturday, Oct. 20.
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ARLINGTON George Boulton was the big spender at the Arlington Arts Councils 5th Annual Fall into Art Auction Saturday. He spent $675 for a dinner offered by Ray and Merilyn McClure at their Lummi Island cabin a dinner which Boulton wont be able to claim until next summer because its a very small cabin, McClure said.
The auction was a success, increasing its income from last years $8,000 to about $12,000 this year. And people seemed to have fun.
It was very fun, said a local business woman, Penny Gutschmidt of Penny Lee Trucking. She attended with her partner, Glen Rengen, of East Valley Sand and Gravel, and friend Penny Peeters, of Penway Printing. Peeters brought along an artist friend of hers, Barbara Aliaga, of Harman Eye Clinic.
We had a great time, Gutschmidt said.
Glen got a painting by Shirley Fulfs because he grew up next door to Shirley. He wanted to buy art from someone he knew, Gutschmidt said. She and Rengen are very supportive of many different types of events and projects.
We like to support the town. I am sure the public art will attract visitors to town, Gutschmidt said.
The auction was a fundraiser for public art in Arlington with the goal of adding more sculptures, murals and various other arts for the public to enjoy. Last years auction proceeds were matched by the city of Arlington to expand the potential to buy art, and the city collection gained three new works this year.
Peeters felt the same as Gutschmidt about the evening.
It was so much fun, we had a really good time, Peeters said, adding she didnt buy much because she is saving her expendable income for a painting class that she takes at Brushstrokes Art Supply.
I got a little abstract painting by Helen Saunders, Peeters said, noting there were several things she would have liked to buy, but the price went above her limit.
I really liked Arlene Swartzs collage, Peeters said.
The small painting that Peeters acquired was one of the many original miniature paintings which decorated the tables. Arts council members not only donated major works for the live auction and gathered other donations like dinners and baskets for the silent auction, they also did original miniatures for the table centerpieces.
Fred Beal served as auctioneer, AAC treasurer Jean Olson served as auctioneer assistant and AAC member Marguerite Goff spoke on the value of public art in a community and yours truly, Sarah Arney, served as Master of Ceremonies. Mayor Margaret Larson welcomed the crowd of approximately 130 attendees.
The chair of the auction committee, Virginia Hatch, who has announced this is the last year she will chair the event, is very relieved that it is over.
We had a good team of volunteers this year, Hatch said. We were a bit panicky a week ago, but it turned out good in the end.
Along with selling a lot of art and art-related goods and services, the auction also featured an exhibit with five public art proposals on which attendees were encouraged to vote. Sarah Hegge of the citys Recreation Department won second place for her proposal to put a labyrinth in one of several different locations and Gregory Minakers proposal for fabricated tree-shaped trellises to be located at the entrances into town got the most votes.
Another vote of the original artwork in the show named Marguerite Goff as the Peoples Choice Award for her Council Coho and second place went to Harry Engstrom for an old painting, Minnesota Memories that he did for his wife when she still missed the winters of Minnesota.
At the end of the show, Clark Jones, of Cascade Valley Hospital, won a raffle for $100 certificate to Bistro San Martin. The hospital staff was well represented at the auction as well as the Downtown Arlington Business Association, the city of Arlington staff and elected officials, and members of the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce, as well as Arlington Arts Council members themselves.
AACs fundraising efforts were supplemented with cash donations from U.S. Marine, MaryRose Denton of Denton Wellness Center, Esther Van Der Berg, and Leslie Moore, the former librarian at the Arlington Library, along with George Boultons substantial contribution.
I asked Bob McClure to bid for me on the dinner because I knew if John [Billdt] knew he was bidding against me, hed never stop, Boulton laughed.
It was a fun night, but it did get a little long, he added.

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